How comparable across years are INCTOT’s income sources in Brazil?



I work on the Brazilian Censuses from 1980 to 2010. Can you tell me precisely the income sources comprised in the variable INCTOT and whether they are comparable across years, please? Also, is there any way I can access the whole set of INCTOT’s unharmonized (ie. source) variables? This is quite important for me because INCTOT is my main variable of interest.

I have looked at the IPUMS documentation but it is not very clear to me. For instance, it is written on the comparability page that in 2000 and 2010, INCTOT “includes labor income and income from sources such as retirement, pension, social programs and returns on financial investments.” To me, this implicitly means that INCTOT does not include pension income in 1980. Yet, when summing INCTOT’s source variables in 1980 (BR80A_GROSSINC BR80A_INCOTHER BR80A_INCPENS BR80A_INCRENT), which includes pensions, I never end up with a value higher than INCTOT (so pension income seems to be included in INCTOT in 1980 in fact).

Thank you very much for your help.


What is the logic behind INCTOT being coded “9999998 = Unknown/missing" in the Brazilian Censuses?

Generally speaking, the variable INCTOT for Brazil contains all sources of monetary income, while excluding in-kind benefits. As you will see below, the main source of possible ambiguity is the ‘Other Income’ category. There was some variation across years in the specific enumeration instructions for coding ‘Other Income’; however, you can read the source documents (available here and/or on the variable page) to see the details of what sources of income were supposed to be included in each year.

Specifically, these are the unharmonized variables that can be used to completely recreate INCTOT in each year:

1980: INCTOT is the sum of Gross earnings in principal occupation (BR80A_GROSSINC), Monetary gross income in other occupations (BR80A_INCOTHER), Income received from pension (BR80A_INCPENS), Income received from rent (BR80A_INCRENT), Income received from donations (BR80A_INCDONAT), and Other income received (BR80A_OTHERINC).

1991: INCTOT is the sum of Gross income from main occupation (BR91A_GROSSINC), Gross income from other occupations (BR91A_GRSINCOT), Gross income from retirement pension (BR91A_INCRETIR), and Gross income from other income (BR91A_OTHERINC).

2000: INCTOT is the sum of Gross monthly income in principal job (BR00A_GROSINC), Gross monthly income in additional jobs (BR00A_GROINCAD), Earnings from retirement/pension (BR00A_INCRETIR), Income from rents (BR00A_INCRENT), Earnings from alimony/allowance/donation (BR00A_INCAL), Income from Federal programs (BR00A_INCFED), and Other income (BR00A_INCOTHER).

2010: INCTOT is the sum of Gross income in main job (BR10A_INCGROSS), Gross income from other jobs (BR10A_INCJB2GR), and Income from other sources (BR10A_INCVALUE).

After accounting for invalid values (e.g. 9999999) and top codes, I verified that the listed components do indeed sum to the INCTOT value for each year.

Hope this helps.