Skip to main content

Choosing a Control Group for Displaced Workers


The vast majority of studies on the earnings of displaced workers use a control group of never-displaced workers to examine the effects of initial displacements. This approach attributes earnings declines due to all future job instability to the initial displacement event, overstating the losses relative to the average treatment effect. This paper’s approach isolates the impact of an average displacement without conditioning on future displacement status in the control group. In comparisons of the standard and alternative approaches using PSID data, the estimated long-run earnings losses fall dramatically from 25 percent to as low as 5 percent.

JEL codes: E24, J63, J64.
Keywords: Displacement, earnings, control group.


Suggested citation: Krolikowski, Pawel, 2017. “Choosing a Control Group for Displaced Workers ,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Working Paper, no. 16-05R. https://doi.org/10.26509/frbc-wp-201605r.

Upcoming EventsSEE ALL

  • 08.10.21

    Cleveland Fed Conversations on Central Banking

    The Center for Inflation Research and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland invite you to attend Cleveland Fed Conversations on Central Banking. The session topic will be Inflation Risk in the Short and Medium Term: US vs. Europe.

  • 10.07.21

    Inflation: Drivers and Dynamics Conference 2021

    The European Central Bank (ECB) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Center for Inflation Research will host the Inflation: Drivers and Dynamics Conference 2021, which will be held virtually on October 7–8.

  • 11.17.21

    2021 Financial Stability Conference: Planning for Surprises, Learning from Crises

    The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and the Office of Financial Research will host their annual financial stability conference, Financial Stability: Planning for Surprises, Learning from Crises, which will be held virtually on November 17-19, 2021.