Comparability of occisco’s universe between the 1980 versus the 1991 and 2000 Brazilian censuses.


Hello, occisco’s universe according to IPUMS-I website concerns people aged 10 or more* who worked:

-in the previous 12 months in the 1980 Brazilian census;

-last week in the 1991 and 2000 Brazilian censuses.

I want to make the universe of occisco comparable across years. To this end, I have tried to use the variable empstat: according to IPUMS-I’s description page, empstat’s “employed” category (1) indicates that a person was employed (ie. worked) in the week prior to the census for the 1980, 1991 and 2000 censuses.

Yet, there is no individual in 1980 that has not worked last week (empstat different from 1) but that does have worked in the last 12 months (occisco different from 99). Notice that in theory, you can have worked in the last 12 months even though you have not worked last week.

My conclusion is that, in the 1980 Brazilian census:

-either occisco’s universe includes in fact only people having worked last week;

-either empstat “employed” category includes in fact all people having worked the last 12 months (even those not having worked last week).

The two explanations are possible since this census asks employment questions both about the week and the overall year prior to the census. Can you tell me which explanation is correct please?

Thank you for your help.

* Notice that IPUMS-I’s universe page about occisco forgets to mention that it onlyincludes people aged 10 or more for the 1991 Brazilian Census.



As you suspected, the definition of the EMPSTAT variable is not consistent across samples. In order to see this, you must look at the Questionnaire text for Brazil. For Brazil in 1980, EMPSTAT indicates whether or not a person worked in the past 12 months (see Question 28 of the Census form). Similarly for Brazil in 1991, EMPSTAT indicates whether a person was employed at all during the last 12 months. But, for Brazil in 2000, EMPSTAT refers to work during the last week only. The Comparability notes currently state that Brazil always uses a reference week, and we will update this soon to accurately reflect changes in the reference period.

As for the 1991 OCCISCO Universe description, the Universe should mention the “age 10+” qualifier. We will fix this soon.

Hope this helps, and thank you for catching these documentation issues.