Estimating the "True" Cost of Job Loss: Evidence Using Matched Data from Califormia 1991-2000
Till von Wachter
Estimates of the cost of job displacement from survey and administrative data differ markedly. This paper uses a unique match of data between the Displaced Worker Survey (DWS) and administrative wage records from California to examine the sources of this discrepancy. When we use similar estimation methods and account for measurement error in survey wages correlated with worker demographics, estimates of earnings losses at displacement are similar from both datasets and significantly larger than those based on the DWS alone. Also correcting for measurement errors in reported displacements suggests both sources of such estimates may yield lower bounds for the true cost of displacement.
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