Are there flag variables for EARNWEEK and HOURWAGE from the IPUMS CPS ORG that detail whether earnings were imputed?

Are these flags available for the basic monthly CPS samples before 2018?

Thank you in advance.

Yes, there are flags for imputed values of these variables. Once you’ve chosen your variables and samples and submitted them in your data cart, there is an option in the extract submission page, “Select Data Quality Flags.” You can select which variables to include these flags for. For your variables, the flags are called QEARNWEE and QHOURWAG.

For future reference, every variable in IPUMS CPS has a FLAGS tab, which tells you if the variable has any flags. Here is the one for EARNWEEK.


Looking at QEARNWEE and QHOURWAG, it looks like they are only available in the ASEC and not the basic monthly sample for years before 2018.

Is that correct?

I think you have selected only the default IPUMS samples. If you expand your selection of samples, you will see that these are available in the BMS pre-2018. You can get an overview of variable availability in the AVAILABILITY tab.

Thanks for the clarification.

If the value label is “allocated” (EARNWEEK == 4 or QHOURWAGE == 4) this means the value is imputed, correct?

Yes, that is correct. For more information on data quality flags, including links to the CPS technical documentation detailing the imputation procedures, see this FAQ.