NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Ashley Amaya

RTI International
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Institutional Affiliation: RTI International

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2018Probing for Informal Work Activity
with Katharine G. Abraham: w24880
The Current Population Survey (CPS) is the source of official U.S. labor force statistics. The wording of the CPS employment questions may not always cue respondents to include informal work in their responses, especially when providing proxy reports about other household members. In a survey experiment conducted using a sample of Mechanical Turk respondents, additional probing identified a substantial amount of informal work activity not captured by the CPS employment questions, both among those with no employment and among those categorized as employed based on answers to the CPS questions. Among respondents providing a proxy report for another household member, the share identifying additional work was systematically greater among those receiving a detailed probe that offered examples o...
 
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