Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: How Do Safety Net Participation Rates from Administrative Data and Survey Data Respond to Policy Variation and the Business Cycle? Evidence from the CPS ASEC

Thursday, November 12, 2015 : 8:30 AM
Zamora (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Marianne Bitler, University of California, Davis and Hilary Hoynes, University of California, Berkeley
A host of authors have documented high and growing rates of under-reporting of receipt of public benefits in large US survey data sets. However, little research has assessed whether this matters for the types of applications for which these data are used. In this paper, we will test whether estimates of the effect of various factors on use of public programs vary importantly if estimated with survey data or with administrative data in a standard state panel data setting. We will test this using both survey self-reports of use of safety net programs in the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey and using either administrative counts of participants at the state level, or, where possible with administrative micro data. We will compare estimates of the responsiveness of these participation rates to measures of the strength of the local labor market and to other policy changes across these data sets, while controlling for time invariant and state invariant unobservables.