I am hoping you can confirm (or, if incorrect, disconfirm) five beliefs I have in regard to top-coded values in the IPUMS-CPS, and perhaps answer two related questions.
- All of the formerly top-coded values in the IPUMS-CPS from years after 1975 (calendar year 1974) now have swap values provided by the Census Bureau comparable to those from the 2011 (calendar 2010 on), and that this is now the best (except perhaps for understanding state economies?) available CPS data for high-income persons and households.
- Swap values are generally more informative replacements for the cell mean values provided by Larrimore et al. (2008) and referenced at https://cps.ipums.org/cps/income_cell_means.shtml
- Swap values consist of swaps of entire household records, so that correlations between income types and, e.g., demographic variables, or occupation and industry of household members, are correct.
- IPUMS has not itself substituted those values directly into the IPUMS-CPS data as provided by the extract system.
- There is not currently ipumsr code provided to do the required merge for this substitution with R (though it does not sound hard. Are the replacement value vectors the same length as the full IPUMS-CPS files for the covered years?)
- There was a moment in time, some years ago, when a Census employee told me that even the swap values max out and are silently replaced by ceiling values at some very high level – he mentioned $1 million (per income type, I think) for all internal-to-Census calculations and published values, and $10 million for data collected and retained (but never used). Do you know if this is currently true, or true for any years post 1975?
- I have seen – but I can not recall where – apparently authoritative claims that records corresponding to the Fortune 100 or 500 richest individuals, or some similarly-defined group, are by design excluded from reported CPS micro data, presumably because even after anonymization their income profiles are too distinctive to provide legally required privacy guarantees. Do you know if this is true, or true for some years?
Warmest regards, Andrew Hoerner