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 labour market. This text aims to help fill this gap by exploring key theoretical and practical issues in the measurement of employment, wages, and workplace practices. Some of the chapters 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.
Introduction 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