Comparing Retrospective and Panel Data Collection Methods to Assess Labor Market Dynamics

50 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2017

See all articles by Ragui A. Assaad

Ragui A. Assaad

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

Caroline Krafft

St. Catherine University - Department of Economics

Shaimaa Yassin

University of Lausanne

Abstract

There is potential for measurement problems in both retrospective and panel microdata. In this paper we compare results on basic indicators related to labor markets and their dynamics from retrospective and panel survey data in Egypt, in order to determine the conditions under which results are similar or different.Specifically, we (1) assess the consistency of reporting of time-invariant characteristics in different waves of the panel, (2) compare the retrospective and panel data results on past labor market statuses, (3) assess the consistency of estimates of labor market transition rates across two specific dates by comparing panel and retrospective data, (4) assess the consistency of estimates of the level and trends of annual labor market transition rates across retrospective data from different waves of the survey, and (5) assess whether retrospective data can provide accurate trends of labor market aggregates, such as unemployment rates. We find that it is possible to garner useful information on labor market dynamics from retrospective data, but one must be cautious about which information to trust and at what level of detail. We conclude with a discussion of implications for future research as well as future survey design.

Keywords: panel data, retrospective data, survey data, measurement error, labor markets, Egypt

JEL Classification: C83, C81, J01, J62, J64

Suggested Citation

Assaad, Ragui A. and Krafft, Caroline and Yassin, Shaimaa, Comparing Retrospective and Panel Data Collection Methods to Assess Labor Market Dynamics. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11052, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3045749

Ragui A. Assaad (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs ( email )

301 19th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Caroline Krafft

St. Catherine University - Department of Economics ( email )

St. Paul, MN 55105
United States

Shaimaa Yassin

University of Lausanne

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, CH-1015
Switzerland

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