I am working with the 1850-1880, 1860-1880, and 1870-1880 linked representative samples. I am working with the “realprop_1” variable that gives the reported value of real estate owned by the respondent in the first of the two linked years (i.e., in 1850, 1860, or 1870 - the variable was not recorded in the 1880 census and so “realprop_2” does not exist).
Normally, according to your own documentation, IPUMS records missing/blank values of real estate property as zero. This is consistent with the 1850-1880 linked representative sample - most values of realprop_1 are 0 as expected. But the 1860 and 1870 values of realprop_1 appear to record missing values as “999,999” instead. This seems to be an inconsistency, and there is nothing in the realprop documentation on IPUMS to explain what else “999,999” might refer to. I can only guess that “999,999” refers to missing/blank values and should actually be recorded as zero, because there are no zeroes recorded in the 1860 and 1870 values of realprop_1 otherwise. The smallest real estate value in 1870, for example, is 25 - which doesn’t seem right. This value should be mostly zeroes, but none exist for 1860 or 1870.
I guess this is less of a question and more of a comment, unless someone can correct me regarding what “999,999” refers to in the linked representative samples for the value of “realprop_1”. And thanks in advance if anyone can offer more information or correct me on this point.