Identifying children AND dependents

Hello! I’m working to impute child and dependent care tax deduction information. To do this, I need to select a universe of CPS respondents who theoretically could be eligible for child and dependent care tax credits. I can use YNGCH for a respondent’s own children, but is there a way to determine whether respondents may be caring for dependents who are NOT their own children? Thank you.

While IPUMS doesn’t have variables that reveal who claims whom as a dependent, IPUMS does have an extensive number of family interrelationship variables whose construction is further detailed in this user guide. For your purposes, PELNMOM and PELNDAD (2007-2019), or PELNPAR1 and PELNPAR2 (since 2019), would likely be most helpful. These provide the self-reported person number of the respondent’s parents if they are living together in the same household. It includes biological, step, and adoptive parents. Those relationships are further distinguished in PEPAR1TYP and PEPAR2TYP. These variables, combined with AGE, will hopefully give you a sense of which households are likely to have dependents and who is most likely to claim them. There may also be cases where no parents are reported in the household. For such cases, you may need to use the variable RELATE, which provides the respondent’s relationship to the household head, in order to dig deeper into household relationships.

If you do plan to use pre-2007 data, MOMLOC and POPLOC will give you the IPUMS constructed interfamily relationships for the respondent’s mother and father. We recommend for consistency to use either only self-reported relationships mentioned in the first paragraph or these IPUMS generated variables.