ASEC income variables over time

I am currently trying to construct income measures which are comparable across a longer time horizon. As explained in the documentation, there are numerous changes in the ASEC income variables through time (e.g. INCDRT supplanted by INCDIVID and INCRENT, INCWELFR measuring different programs, etc).

Having a timeline of the various variables would illustrate and clarify their evolution and interdependence. Does something like this exist? (I started working on a basic version - see below.)

Thanks for your answer!

I am unaware of a resource that lists the variables as you have ordered them to try and make the relationships between them and changes over time more obvious. However, I do want to mention a number of options for changing how variables are sorted via the IPUMS CPS interface that may be useful. I will also note that the comparability tab for many ASEC income variables also makes note of related variables or changes to the concept over time, even if the specific variable is comparable for all years when it is available.

If you click on the gray “Display Options” button to the right of the main variable browsing menu, you can select to sort variables listed by the number of samples (see below). This will display the most widely available variables first. You can also view sample columns in chronological order (rather than the default reverse chronological that prioritizes recent data), or choose to sort things alphabetically (which might put INCDRT and INCDIVID closer to one another than they might otherwise be). Note that the preferences you select in display options are sticky, so they will persist to the next time you visit IPUMS CPS in your browser (so be sure to change anything back if you think you prefer the IPUMS default ordering).

Thanks a lot for looking into this and your suggestions!

1 Like