Hello there, new user of IPUMS-CPS here. I’m using the longitudinal CPS data and am trying to assign time-invariant race/hispanicity for individuals when they identify their race/hispanicity differently across time periods. One way I’d like to do this is by prioritizing self responses over proxy responses. To do this I’d like to use the LFPROXY variable but the way it is labeled makes me unsure if it measures whether all variables (including demographics) are provided by proxy or if only certain labor-force relevant variables are. Could anyone who is more familiar with the data clarify?
My thanks for this resource!
Demographic information is reported by the household respondent (HHRESPLN) for all members of the household, so this information is never provided via self-response unless it’s the household respondent’s demographic characteristics. Labor force information, on the other hand, is collected by each member of the household individually to the extent that it is possible; however, the household respondent may provide this information in cases where the individuals in the household are not available to report this information themselves. Therefore, LFPROXY is specific to the labor force information collected.
More broadly, there are a few things to keep in mind when determining the validity of linked CPS respondents. First is that not all links made using CPSIDP are valid; that is, some links will erroneously pair different individuals and assign them the same CPSIDP value due to migration, mortality, non-response, and recording errors (see Drew et al., 2014). New people can be added to households after the first month (e.g., new babies can be born) and people can leave households prior to the last month (e.g., through death, divorce, or migration). If the occupants of a residence move out, they are replaced in the sample by the new people who move in. MIGRATE1 might be used to identify some of these respondents. IPUMS CPS also allows users to drop all links with respondents with improbable changes in race (as well as age and sex) in the identifier CPSIDV.
You should also note that race codes have changed four times in the Basic Monthly Survey. These changes occurred between December 1988 and January 1989, December 1995 and January 1996, December 2002 and January 2003, and April and May 2012. You will need to determine how to map earlier responses to newer coding schemes for respondents who bridge any of these transitions (see Rodgers & Flood, 2023 for how IPUMS maps these).
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.