Some variables in the IPUMS CPS are family-based while others are household based, even if the variable assigned at the household level. For example, the CPS contains both measures of household income and measures of family income. However, regardless of the family a household member belongs to, every individual in a household is assigned the family income of the householder.
As far as I can tell, there is no family identifier or family sampling weight in the IPUMS CPS except for the ASEC (ASECFWT). Instead, there are individual or household weights. This can make inference about distributions of family variables quite awkward. For example, using the household weights leads to the calculation of the distribution of family income across households. This is seems like an odd quantity: what we’d like to summarize is the distribution of family income, where each family is weighted equally. However, we instead have unequal weighting of families in our inferences about the distribution according to the number of families in a household.
- Is this interpretation of inferences about families based on household weighting correct?
- Is there a reason the family weights are only available in the ASEC?
- The documentation notes that “ASECFWT indicates the householder or reference person weight and is to be used for family-level analyses of ASEC data.” It’s not clear to me why the householder/reference person is used here and why this would not then equal the household weight.
- Is this post Family weight in CPS out-of-date and IPUMS-CPS has now added the family weight variable?