Inconsistencies between monthly basic files and ASEC


If you plot labor force participation in the monthly files and the ASEC, using each samples respective weights (WTFINL and ASECWT), they produce inconsistent estimates before 1989. After 1989 they line up. Why are they inconsistent before? And which one is more correct?



There are a couple things that seem strange about this graph. Most importantly, I am not able to replicate the labor force participation rates shown in this figure. Both estimates I calculate using IPUMS CPS data and published estimates are quite a bit lower than what is shown in this figure. This makes me wonder how labor force participation is being calculated in this figure. Regarding the divergence in the rate up until 1989, note that there are changes in the universe for LABFORCE over time. In particular there are changes about who is eligible for this question around 1989 that might be causing this divergence. Feel free to send your code or more detailed information about how you are creating this figure to if the issue seems to persist.