NLS Youth '79 Cohort

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - 1979 Cohort
Short Description: 
Men and women born in the years 1957-64
Short Title: 
NLS Youth 1979
Long Name: 
National Longitudinal Survey of Youth | 1979
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Errata for 1979-2014 Data Release

Newest Errata [posted 2/12/2018]

Assets Variables Missing from 2004 and 2008 Data

Some assets variables were inadvertently omitted from the NLSY79 2004 and 2008 data. They can be accessed through the zip file MissingAssetsVariables20042008 and will be included in the next full release of the NLSY79 data.

NLSY79 Appendix 28: NLSY79 Employer History Roster

In July 2013, the Employer History Roster (EHR) was introduced to data users. This sizeable set of variables incorporates a substantial amount of information about each employer into a single record for each. See Appendix 13: Development of Questionnaires and Codebooks for a description of rosters as a data structure.


NLSY79 Appendix 27: IRT Item Parameter Estimates, Scores and Standard Errors

Item response theory (IRT) item parameter estimates, scores and standard errors have been calculated for several attitudinal scales administered in multiple NLSY79 survey years as well as in other NLS cohorts. The following PDF files provide detailed descriptions of the creation procedures for these scales:

NLSY79 Appendix 26: Non-Response to Financial Questions and Entry Points

Financial questions often elicit from respondents either a "refusal" or a "don't know" response. From 1979 to 2000 the NLSY79 interviewers faced with a "refusal" or a "don't know" simply went on to the next question. Starting in 2002, respondents have been asked to estimate financial values if they could not provide an exact value.


As the 1979 Youth cohort approached their fifties, questions were added about retirement preparation and expectations, starting with the 2006 survey year.

Computer & Internet Access

In survey year 2000, respondents were asked if they had access to a computer at home running specified operating systems, whether they could access the web using a browser and whether they could access the internet through a modem or other connection. These questions were also asked in the 2002-2012 survey rounds but only if the respondent had not reported internet access at a previous interview.

NLSY79 Appendix 25: Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale

Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale

The CES-D is a self-report scale that measures the current prevalence of depression symptoms. Respondents rate a series of statements regarding how they felt during the week prior to the interview. 

This appendix is divided into four parts:

Business Ownership

Created Variables

BUSOWN_SOURCEYR. Survey year when business data was collected. Cross-round variable.

BUSOWN-UID-MATCH.01, 02, etc. Unique job ID in Employment History Roster of Business 01, 02, etc. originally. Cross-round variable.

BUSOWN-MATCH-QUALITY.01, 02, etc. Provides quality of the match between Business 01, 02, etc. ownership reported and past employers. Cross-round variable.

NLSY79 Appendix 24: Reanalysis of the 1980 AFQT Data from the NLSY79

The NLSY79 and NLSY97 are unique in that virtually all respondents took the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), with the results for the NLSY79 being used to norm the test. This appendix discusses the psychometrics of the Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) administered in 1980, with attention to the implications the analysis has for the efficient administration of those tests.


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