The devolution of many social policy responsibilities from the Federal government to states has prompted increased interest in state-level measures of need. One data source that could be used to provide more state-level information on a variety of topics is the Current Population Survey (CPS). During the past ten years the CPS has been used to produce state-level estimates on a variety of measures. However, there has been little systematic evaluation of these data. This paper provides measures of accuracy for several state-level estimates derived from the CPS. These include standard errors for single-year estimates, three-year averages, and five-year averages of the March CPS measures; standard errors for three-year averages of 12-month CPS files; and comparison of CPS-based estimates to data from the Decennial Census. The paper also examines the relative accuracy of CPS estimates based on states' size. The information in this study will help analysts better understand the tradeoffs between timeliness and accuracy to be considered when using state-level estimates derived from the CPS.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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