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MaCurdy, Thomas; Mroz, Thomas A.; & Gritz, R. Mark (1998). An Evaluation of the National Longitudinal Survey on Youth. Journal of Human Resources, 33(2), 345-436.


The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) has become one of the most widely used data sources for investigating many of the economic and demographic circumstances faced by young adults during the 1980s. The usefulness of the NLSY for empirical analyses relies on the presumption that these data are representative of the population of U.S. youths throughout the 1980s. As the NLSY approaches its third decade, researchers may be concerned about the ongoing representativeness of the NLSY due to the possibility of nonrandom attrition. Also, in contrast to most other data sources, sample members attriting from the NLSY are often recruited back into the sample at a later date, and this "returning" group may also be nonrandom, possibly either offsetting or exacerbating the effects of attrition. There has been surprisingly little attrition from the NLSY, compared with other longitudinal data sets that have been little research to date on this issue.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Human Resources


MaCurdy, Thomas
Mroz, Thomas A.
Gritz, R. Mark