The Feasibility and Importance of Adding Measures of Actual Experience to Cross-Sectional Data Collection
We use Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics data and data from a 2008 telephone survey of adults conducted by Westat for the Princeton Data Improvement Initiative (PDII) to explore the importance and feasibility of adding retrospective questions about actual work experience to cross-sectional data sets. We demonstrate that having such actual experience data is important for analyzing women's post-school human capital accumulation, residual wage inequality, and the gender pay gap. Further, our PDII survey results show that it is feasible to collect actual experience data in cross-sectional telephone surveys like the March Current Population Survey annual supplement.
This is a revised version of a paper presented at the American Economic Association meetings, San Francisco, January 2009, the Cornell-Princeton Conference on the Princeton Data Improvement Initiative (PDII), Princeton, NJ, October 2008, and the PDII preconference, Amelia, FL, February 2007. The authors thank Orley Ashenfelter, Kevin Hallock, Lawrence Katz, Thomas Lemieux, participants at these conferences, and two anonymous referees for valuable comments and suggestions, Tecla Loup of the University of Michigan Survey Research Center for helpful information about the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and Alan Krueger for help in preparing the PDII-Westat labor market survey data for analysis. We are grateful to the Princeton Data Improvement Initiative for funding this research. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2013. "The Feasibility and Importance of Adding Measures of Actual Experience to Cross-Sectional Data Collection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(S1), pages S17 - S58. citation courtesy of