Improved Wealth Measures in the Health and Retirement Study: Asset Reconciliation and Cross-Wave Imputation

79 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2016

See all articles by Michael D. Hurd

Michael D. Hurd

RAND Corporation; State University of New York at Stony Brook - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Erik Meijer

University of Southern California; RAND Corporation

Michael Moldoff

RAND Corporation

Susann Rohwedder

RAND Corporation

Date Written: April 6, 2016

Abstract

In this report, we present improved wealth measures for the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), which aim to reduce the effect of observation error on wealth levels and changes in wealth. The new wealth measures take account of the asset verification section in the HRS and use cross-wave information, most notably the value of the same asset in adjacent waves, in the imputation models, so imputed values better preserve serial correlation in the asset values. We document how we dealt with several methodological challenges in the implementation of these improvements. The corrections from the asset verification data reduce the standard deviations of wave-to-wave changes by substantial amounts (up to 57 percent for total wealth). The most important effect of the cross-wave imputations is a considerable reduction of the number of spikes and trenches (large changes in value followed by large changes back).

JEL Classification: D14, D31, C81

Suggested Citation

Hurd, Michael D. and Meijer, Erik and Moldoff, Michael and Rohwedder, Susann, Improved Wealth Measures in the Health and Retirement Study: Asset Reconciliation and Cross-Wave Imputation (April 6, 2016). RAND Working Paper Series WR- 1150. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2791708 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2791708

Michael D. Hurd (Contact Author)

RAND Corporation ( email )

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State University of New York at Stony Brook - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Erik Meijer

University of Southern California ( email )

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RAND Corporation ( email )

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Michael Moldoff

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Susann Rohwedder

RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

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