PARC Working Paper Series

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version

9-1995

Comments

Recommended Citation:

Hill, Mark E., Samuel H. Preston, Irma T. Elo, and Ira Rosenwaike. 1995. "Age-Linked Institutions and Age Reporting Among Older African Americans." PARC Working Paper Series, WPS 95-05.

This working paper was published in a journal:

Hill, Mark E., Samuel H. Preston, Irma T. Elo, and Ira Rosenwaike. 1997. "Age-Linked Institutions and Age Reporting Among Older African Americans." Social Forces 75(3):1007-1030. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2580528.

Abstract

With economic and technological development, numerical age became an important dimension of social differentiation in the United States. The vast majority of Americans now have the ability to report their own age and the ages of relatives with accuracy. Nevertheless, studies have found that age misreporting remains substantial for older African Americans. This paper describes levels of age misreporting and investigates the determinants of age reporting accuracy on the death certificates of a national sample of native-born African Americans aged 65+. Consistent with previous studies, levels of age misreporting are found to be high. When checked against childhood census records, only 53% of the death certificate ages are found to be correctly reported; slightly over 10% are misstated by five years or more. Multivariate results provide compelling evidence that the quality of age reporting critically depends on interaction with age-linked institutions.

Keywords

African Americans, age reporting, Social Security Administration, death certificates

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Date Posted: 18 February 2020