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Activity Number: 605 - Prospects for Combining Survey and Administrative Data for Income Measurement
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Thursday, August 2, 2018 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Business and Economic Statistics Section
Abstract #326798
Title: Linking Administrative and Survey Data to Revolutionize 21st Century Poverty and Inequality Measurement
Author(s): David Johnson*
Companies: University of Michigan

Recent headlines suggest that the U.S. is a country with high inequality and low mobility where the poor can rise up the ladder of economic prosperity. Research suggests that the lack of mobility is higher than in other countries, and is particularly sticky for those at the bottom. However, the country's capacity to monitor trends in mobility and life-time poverty has languished, making it difficult to measure mobility and whether it has been declining. The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) has been the workhorse survey to measure mobility. We examine the possibilities of using the new American Opportunity study (which links decennial censuses to survey and administrative data) to measure the trends in poverty, inequality and mobility. We will focus on the possibilities of linking the PSID to the AOS, IRS data on income (and other administrative data) to improve measures of long-term and intergenerational poverty, and their long-term impacts. Finally, we discuss the important measurement issues from errors in administrative data, linkage techniques, missing survey data and under-reported survey data.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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