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Labor Statistics Measurement Issues

Rapidly changing technology, the globalization of markets, and the declining role of unions are just some of the factors that have led to dramatic changes in working conditions in the United States. Little attention has been paid to the difficult measurement problems underlying analysis of the labor market. Labor Statistics Measurement Issues helps to fill this gap by exploring key theoretical and practical issues in the measurement of employment, wages, and workplace practices.

Some of the chapters in this volume explore the conceptual issues of what is needed, what is known, or what can be learned from existing data, and what needs have not been met by available data sources. Others make innovative uses of existing data to analyze these topics. Also included are papers examining how answers to important questions are affected by alternative measures used and how these can be reconciled. This important and useful book will find a large audience among labor economists and consumers of labor statistics.

Table of Contents

John Haltiwanger, Marilyn E. Manser and Robert Topel
I. The Need for Expanded Information
1. Existing Labor Market Data: Current and Potential Research Uses
Marilyn E. Manser
Comment: Charles Brown
2. Analytical Needs and Empirical Knowledge in Labor Economics
Robert Topel
Comment: Frank Stafford
II. The Measurement of Employment and Unemployment: New Dimensions
3. Measuring Gross Worker and Job Flows
Steven J. Davis and John Haltiwanger
Comment: Bruce D. Meyer
4. Alternative Measures of Unemployment Based on Flow Data
Stephen R. G. Jones and W. Craig Riddell
Comment: Thomas Lemieux
5. Are Lifetime Jobs Disappearing?
Henry S. Farber
Comment: Derek Neal
6. The Impact of Ownership Change on Employment, Wages, and Labor Productivity in U.S. Manufacturing, 1977-1987
Robert H. McGuckin, Sang V. Nguyen, and Arnold P. Reznek
Comment: Frank R. Lichtenberg
7. The CPS after the Redesign: Refocusing the Economic Lens
Anne E. Polivka and Stephen M. Miller
Comment: Gary Solon
III. Employee Compensation: Measurement and Impact
8. Divergent Trends in Alternative Wage Series
Katharine G. Abraham, James R. Spletzer, and Jay C. Stewart
Comment: Lawrence F. Katz
IV. Looking Inside the Firm
9. What Happens within Firms? A Survey of Empirical Evidence on Compensation Policies
Canice Prendergast
Comment: George A. Akerlof
10. Internal and External Labor Markets: An Analysis of Matched Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data
John M. Abowd and Francis Kramarz
11. The Worker-Establishment Characteristics Database
Kenneth R. Troske
12. A Needs Analysis of Training Data: What Do We Want, What Do We Have, Can We Ever Get It?
Lisa M. Lynch
Comment: John M. Barron
13. Employer-Provided Training, Wages, and Capital Investment
Stephen G. Bronars and Melissa Famulari

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