Difference between hhrespln and lineno


  1. According to the IPUMS description: “HHRESPLN indicates the line number (LINENO) of the household respondent.” However, when I try to tabulate these two variables, their values are quite different. What’s the exact difference between the two variables?

  2. Related to the above question: I am trying to identify “household respondent,” who actually responds to each 8 round of survey. Is it correct if I use (LINENO==1) as an indicator for the household respondent? Should I use (HHRESPLN==1) instead?
    Or is it more safe to use household head/householder information? (RELATE==101)

Thank you very much for your help. I really appreciate it.

I’ll aim to answer your questions one at a time.

(1) The HHRESPLN and LINENO variables should have different values because they identify different things. The HHRESPLN variable uses LINENO to identify which individual within the household is the person who responded to the CPS questionnaire on behalf of the other individuals within the household. This variable is at the household level and will be the same for all individuals within the same household. LINENO on the other hand indicates the numbered line on which the CPS interviewer recorded each individual’s name within the household. This variable is at the individual level and will be different for different individuals within the same household.

(2) If you are trying to identify the “household respondent” you will need to use both HHRESPLN and LINENO. The value of HHRESPN points to a specific individual based on the individual’s specific LINENO value. So, for example, if HHRESPN==4 then that means that the “household respondent” is the individual within the household with LINENO==4.

That really clears up a lot. Thank you very much for your helpful response!