This research will create a new implementation of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) comparable wage index (CWI), based on confidential data from the 2005-2009 American Community Survey (ACS). The CWI is an annual measure of uncontrollable variation in wages across geographical regions, and has been published by NCES for the years 1997 through 2005. The base year CWI was originally created using 2000 Decennial Census long form Integrated Public Use Microdata Series data (IPUMS), and the CWI for the other years were created using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Occupational Expenditure Survey (OES).
This project aims to produce a new CWI using restricted-access ACS data for the years 2005 forward, and to compare index estimates produced from these files to estimates computed using public use ACS microdata. In the process, the CWI methodology will be modified based on recommendations of a Technical Expert Panel convened on behalf of NCES. The project will benefit the ACS data by producing population estimates (the wage index) that allow a direct comparison with estimates produced using publicly available data.