Question re income accounting in IPUMS-CPS.


Dear Folks–

I previously asked this question about IPUMS-USA, but I actually meant to ask it about IPUMS-CPS. And I think the answer is different too, as IPUMS does not provide different documentationj types for the CPS than for the ACS.

I am looking at the many different types of income reported in IPUMS-CPS. I am trying to put together for each year a complete set of all the income variables that conceptually sum to household income (HHINCOME) or to family income (FTOTVAL using census families, or FTOTINC using IPUMS families). I know that they will not actually sum due to top-coding and the like.

However, some of the income variables reported are dichotomous, indicating only that that type of income is received, and I suspect that others are intermediate totals that should be included in the total only if the other variables that compose them are excluded. Have you done, or are you aware of anyone who has done, the income accounting necessary to properly total income variables to income?

Sincerely, Andrew Hoerner



The primary difference between FTOTVAL and FTOTINC is that FTOTVAL (in IPUMS-CPS) is actually reported by the respondent, while FTOTINC (in IPUMS-USA) is constructed based on the family interrelationship variables.

Like IPUMS-USA HHINCOME is simply the total of household members’ INCTOT values. IPUMS-CPS provides the lists of variables used to construct INCTOT in each year in the comparability section.

I hope this helps.