Working Paper Revision

Subjective Earnings Risk

Abstract: While earnings risk is essentially subjective, it is typically inferred from administrative data. We introduce a survey to measure subjective earnings risk, paying particular attention to the expected impacts of job transitions on earnings. Linking with administrative data provides multiple credibility checks. Subjective expectations about earnings growth and job transitions are consistent with actual realizations when appropriately aggregated. We also find subjective earnings risk is lower than risk inferred from administrative data because expected earnings growth is heterogeneous, even within narrow population groups. A life-cycle search model calibrated to the administrative data can recover the basic patterns of subjective risk.

Keywords: earnings risk; job transitions; subjective expectations;

JEL Classification: D31; D84; E24; J31;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Part of Series: Working Papers

Publication Date: 2023-08-11

Number: 2023-003

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