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

#1

Hello,

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!

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#2

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.

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