Journal of Economic and Social Measurement - Volume 18, issue 1-4
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ISSN 0747-9662 (P)
ISSN 1875-8932 (E)
The Journal of Economic and Social Measurement (JESM) is a quarterly journal that is concerned with the investigation of all aspects of production, distribution and use of economic and other societal statistical data, and with the use of computers in that context. JESM publishes articles that consider the statistical methodology of economic and social science measurements. It is concerned with the methods and problems of data distribution, including the design and implementation of data base systems and, more generally, computer software and hardware for distributing and accessing statistical data files. Its focus on computer software also includes the valuation of algorithms and their implementation, assessing the degree to which particular algorithms may yield more or less accurate computed results. It addresses the technical and even legal problems of the collection and use of data, legislation and administrative actions affecting government produced or distributed data files, and similar topics.
The journal serves as a forum for the exchange of information and views between data producers and users. In addition, it considers the various uses to which statistical data may be put, particularly to the degree that these uses illustrate or affect the properties of the data. The data considered in JESM are usually economic or social, as mentioned, but this is not a requirement; the editorial policies of JESM do not place a priori restrictions upon the data that might be considered within individual articles. Furthermore, there are no limitations concerning the source of the data.
Abstract: SIPP is now in its ninth year of data collection. Measurements collected have advanced understanding of poverty, program eligibility, and simulation of alternatives to the current tax and transfer programs of the U.S. At the same time, nine years of…measurement disclose limitations for the scientific design that is currently used. Inconsistencies in the responses collected in different interviews (the seam problem), the large number of censored spells during which respondents are eligible for welfare, or receive welfare transfers, and the failure of analysts to exploit identical measures taken from independent samples that are taken in the same month all point to the need to rethink the scientific design for SIPP. This paper presents a framework for thinking about a new design; the framework integrates the underlying purposes of SIPP, thinking about troublesome problems of response error, and constraints in the operational aspects of large surveys. SIPP can provide measurements for the study of the change in the economic well-being of individuals. Analysis of SIPP can service legislation and administration affecting social services, income support, a work role, and taxation for persons with the least capabilities and opportunities in the society. Other purposes can be met by SIPP, and readers will be able to test their own objectives for a social and economic measurement within the framework that follows.
Abstract: SIPP is examined for its uses for economic research, particularly as a basis for estimating causal relationships between labor market outcomes and potential policy variables. The Current Population Survey dominates SIPP as a provider of descriptive statistics for most, but…not all, purposes. As a large longitudinal survey, extending for up to 32 months, and with rich data on income, wages, and other variables, SIPP has unique advantages for dynamic analysis of labor force behavior that is described by short or moderate durations, such as unemployment. Examples of historical and contemporary research studies are discussed to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of SIPP. Among several recommendations for using SIPP, it is argued that the most important is to obtain market characteristics for the city or county locations of the survey respondents.
Abstract: The Current Population Survey, designed to produce the official monthly labor force statistics, is valuable for many labor force studies. Long-term longitudinal labor force information is available from several sources, most notably the National Longitudinal Surveys. In contrast, the Survey…of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) was designed for analyzing within-year receipt of, and transitions in, income and program participation. Changing interviewing frequency and time in sample to improve SIPP's usefulness for these purposes while maintaining survey quality would be unlikely to enhance its role in providing labor force data. SIPP's most important uses for labor market studies are expected to center on the relationship of employment and unemployment to income and program participation and on various topics using its detailed data modules. This paper recommends consideration of alternative questionnaire methods to reduce SIPP's wave-seam problem, including an NLS-like employment history approach.
Abstract: This paper evaluates SIPP as a resource for studying the interrelationship between family change and economic resources and proposes several modifications, in both design and content. The changes in design include: (1) lengthening the time frame (doubling the span of…any single panel and spacing successive waves and panels further apart); (2) redesigning the way interviewers ask and record marital change; and (3) tracking children when they move into non-SIPP households. Proposed additions to content include: (1) identifying spending units – who pools resources with whom; (2) collecting more complete information on time use; (3) gathering comprehensive data on the structure, needs, and resources of the extended family and transfers with non-resident, extended-family members; and (4) identifying the options people consider in their decisions about work and family. These modifications are discussed in the context of important aspects of measurement, major findings from SIPP thus far, and anticipated future research interests.
Abstract: The paper describes SIPP data elements pertaining to health and disability, examines broad policy needs for health and disability issues from the perspective of the Department of Health and Human Services, and contains recommendations for future SIPP design. Specific health…and disability items described include health insurance, health care utilization, participation in Federal disability programs, functional disability (i.e. ADLs and IADLs), work disability, and children's disability. The paper contains recommendations to more consistently collect health and disability data in SIPP. Although the goals of SIPP are to study the dynamics of Federal program participation and describe the income distribution of the population, since program participation and income are so closely influenced by health and disability, SIPP's goals cannot be fully met until health and disability data are collected more consistently.
Abstract: The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) has been used to provide descriptive estimates of the health and disability status of the U.S. population. Comparisons are drawn between SIPP estimates and independent estimates of disability including data from Canada…and Britain which shows evidence of the reliability and weaknesses of certain measurements. SIPP is found to substantially underestimate participation in special education programs and fails to measure enrollment of children with disabilities in SSI. It is found that at least 1 million adults with severe functional limitations who are unable to work receive no Social Security disability benefits. It is argued that SIPP could be employed more effectively to see why this situation occurs and to more effectively examine the adequacy of benefits provided to persons with work disabilities. SIPP also provides a unique resource for studying changes in disability status and their socioeconomic impact which has been underutilized. Several recommendations for improving SIPP are provided.