Dealing with income values of 99999 in CPS after replacing topcodes using the 1976-2010 file



I am using CPS personal income datafiles from 1990 to 2015, and I have set those “Not in Universe” values (99999s) as missing to restrict my sample (excluding those age <15). Then I have replaced topcoded income values using the 1976-2010 file provided on this page, just to make sure that I have consistent topcodes in my datafile.

However, there still appears income values of 99999s after this (e.g., INCCHILD,INCALIM,INCOTHER, OINCBUS, OINCFARM), and these observations fall within the universe (age>15). I suspect it is the topcoded value, but there still exists values of 99997 for these variables.

How should I deal with these values 99999s when there exists topcodes of 99997 and they fall within the universe?

Many thanks in advance!



These 99999 values do appear on the source data files provided by the Census Bureau (I was not able to find any 99997 values in our provided swap-values datasets, however). Presumably these values represent a topcode (likely representing values that exceed those allowed by the original digit-length of the variable) as you have guessed. However, the values are not directly addressed in the documentation. I would recommend contacting the Census Bureau directly for further explanation.