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Visit Us at the 2016 Allied Social Science Association and American Economic Association Meeting in San Francisco

Fri Dec 18 2015
Randy Becker
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Census Bureau economists will present results from their research at the annual meeting of the Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) and American Economic Association (AEA) in San Francisco Jan. 3-5, 2016. This meeting brings together more than 11,000 economists and scholars in related fields from around the world and showcases ongoing research in economics. Census Bureau economists will also serve as discussants of related papers in their fields of expertise, act as panelists and recruit doctoral candidates interested in careers at the Census Bureau.

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Economists at the Census Bureau play a key role in creating and improving statistical products that are essential to policymakers, researchers and the public. These products come from a variety of sources, such as survey microdata on businesses and households, linked employer-employee data and confidential microdata from federal and state administrative and statistical agencies. Our economists apply these data to the study of income and labor dynamics, industrial organization, household structure, health and disability, international trade and other topics.

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This year, the ASSA/AEA meeting includes 21 papers with Census Bureau co-authors showcasing recent findings on the following diverse range of topics.

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Labor and earnings dynamics: Labor and earnings dynamics continues to be an area of fruitful research at the Census Bureau. Much of this research uses linked employee-employer data from the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) program. Papers include examinations of firm performance and the volatility of worker earnings (Juhn, McCue, Monti and Pierce), downward wage rigidity (Kurmann, McEntarfer and Spletzer), the effects of public housing demolitions on long-term earnings of children (Pollakowski, Andersson, Haltiwanger, Kutzbach and Palloni) and the impact of workplace characteristics on worker earnings (Barth, Davis and Freeman). Other papers examine changes in marriage and earnings patterns using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) linked to administrative data on earnings (Juhn and McCue) and the duration of self-employment for those becoming self-employed during the Great Recession (Luque and Jones).

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Mobility: Three papers focus on geographic mobility. They include an investigation of the recent decline in residential mobility and job switching (Hyatt, McEntarfer, Ueda and Zhang), an examination of the roles of employment, earnings and living costs in migration (Janicki, Kutzbach, Nowak and Sandler) and a look at whether low income housing tax credits provide a path to better neighborhoods (Brummet and Bartalotti). Two other papers focus on intergenerational mobility; one examines occupation mobility from 1850 to 2000 (Ferrie, Massey and Rothbaum) and another documents the tendency of fathers to share employers with their sons and daughters (Stinson and Wignall).

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Business economics: Research using microdata on businesses is also a central focus at the Census Bureau. Two papers focus on productivity in the manufacturing sector, including a discussion of a collaborative effort with the Bureau of Labor Statistics to produce statistics on within-industry variation on productivity (Foster, Grim, Pabilonia, Stewart, Wolf and Zoghi) and an examination of how best to estimate plant-level productivity (Foster, Grim, Haltiwanger and Wolf). Other business-oriented research concerns the role of financing in firm growth (Earle and Brown) and the decline in business dynamism and entrepreneurship in recent decades (Decker, Haltiwanger, Jarmin and Miranda).

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New and better data: Developing new data products and improving existing ones is often a by-product of the research we do. At other times, it is the explicit focus of our economists’ research. For example, one paper compares reported and imputed earnings from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to the earnings from the Social Security Administration’s Detailed Earnings Record (Chenevert, Klee and Wilkin). Another explores an alternative imputation methodology to impute missing income values in the Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) (Hokayem, Raghunathan and Rothbaum). The results of a link between the Science and Technology for America’s Reinvestment – Measuring the Effects of Research on Innovation, Competitiveness and Science (STARMETRICS) data and the 2010 Census, covering female graduate students and professors in STEM programs, will also be presented (Buffington, Harris, Jones and Weinberg).

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Modernizing federal economic statistics: Ron Jarmin, assistant director for research and methodology, and William Bostic, associate director for economic programs, will discuss the possibility of modernizing federal economic statistics by leveraging information on economic activity held by the private sector. Such efforts can improve the quality and timeliness of official statistics, make possible new data products and reduce respondent burden.

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More: In addition to these and other papers by Census Bureau co-authors, there will be presentations of research papers based on Census Bureau microdata, written by researchers using the Federal Statistical Research Data Center (FSRDC) network.

For further details on the papers to be presented at the ASSA/AEA meeting, including a preliminary program with abstracts, please see

For more information on working papers by Census Bureau researchers and FSRDC researchers, please see

For presentations by Census Bureau researchers at previous ASSA meetings, and at other major professional meetings, please see

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