Need to keep one member of each household in the sample when using HHWT in ACS?


#1

Hi,

I am wondering if I am right in thinking that I need to keep at least one member of each household in my dataset if I want my analysis to be representative on the household level using the HHWT in the ACS. The documentation on HHWT is not clear; it just says “Users should also be sure to select one person (e.g., PERNUM = 1) to represent the entire household” – but it’s not clear what is meant by “select.”

When I drop some of the households from the sample, I get very different point estimates and standard errors in my regression. Would you explain that?

Thanks very much!!


#2

By “select” the HHWT documentation is simply suggesting that the sample should be restricted to include only records in which PERNUM==1. This will ensure that your sample only includes one observation per household. There are a number of ways to do this within your preferred statistical software. You can either “keep” records where PERNUM==1 or “drop” records where PERNUM=!1.

A note on your regression results. I’d suspect that if you are running a regression with household level variables without restricting your sample to one record per household you are over-representing large households within your regression model.


#3

I have a follow-up question on this issue. We restrict our analysis to couple households, which we tried by using two different methods in STATA:

  1. using the svy, subpop() option, where we specify couple households as the subpopulation but keep all households in the sample

  2. dropping all non-couple households from the sample and then use the svy command without the subpop() option

In both cases we only keep one observation per household (PERNUM==1), but the regression results are very different from each other. Would you explain these differences and which option would be the correct one?

Thanks!!


#4

Could you send your .do file and .dta file to ipums@umn.edu? This way I’ll have a better understanding of your analysis.