Summer at Census Presentation: CenHRS: Integrating HRS with Census Employer Data to Enhance Understanding of the Employment Prospects of Older Americans

Matthew Shapiro and Margaret Levenstein
University of Michigan

July 25, 2013
10:00 am - 11:00 am
NEW LOCATION - Conference Rooms 1 & 2
(Formerly - Seminar Room 5K410)

This project aims to advance our understanding of the employment prospects and conditions of older Americans. The project will use Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data in combination with Census’s extensive data on employers and their workforces to develop new methods and data products. The primary goal of CenHRS is to identify employer and workforce characteristics important to the health and retirement behavior of older Americans. The project is supported by a grant from the Sloan Foundation.

HRS surveys more than 26,000 Americans over the age of 50 every two years. Sponsored by the National Institute of Aging and the Social Security Administration, it is a large-scale longitudinal project that studies the labor force participation and health transitions that individuals undergo toward the end of their work lives and in the years that follow. Since its launch in 1992, the HRS has collected extensive survey information on income and wealth, physical and mental health, employment and other activities, and linked these to individual-level administrative data from Social Security and Medicare. Over 1,000 scholarly articles have been published using HRS data; HRS has more than 10,000 registered users. Surveys modeled on HRS are currently underway in 25 countries on five continents.

This project will use the Business Register and Longitudinal Business Database, the Economic Census and related firm and establishment surveys, and the Longitudinal Employer Household Database to create contextual variables relating to a broad range of characteristics of firms at which HRS respondents worked during their lifetime. These measures will incorporate information on employee turnover and tenure; earnings distributions, age and other demographic characteristics of the firm’s workforce; business characteristics such as firm and establishment size, productivity, and export activity; and measures based on geography such as distance to work. One outcome will be a new dataset, CenHRS, which will include aggregate measures of the characteristics of the current and prior employers and co-workers of HRS respondents. Prototypes of the CenHRS dataset will be analyzed to determine which of these characteristics are of particular salience and how best to measure them. These measures will expand the research questions that can be addressed with HRS and provide the basis for new Census statistics on the characteristics of older workers and their employers. The project will also analyze differences in measures of administrative and respondent data for variables such as earnings, employer size, and labor force attachment, and compare those differences to those for Census surveys linked to administrative data such as SIPP and ACS.

(This describes and reports the results from joint research with Kristin McCue (U.S. Census Bureau), John Abowd (Cornell University), Nada Wasi (University of Michigan), and David Weir (University of Michigan).

Jul 25, 2013, 10:00am to 11:00am EDT
4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
United States