Should the IPUMS-CPS and NBER CPS data match?


I was directed by an earlier question to download the Basic Monthly data from NBER due to some variables (puiodp1, puiodp2, and puiodp3) that were missing from the IPUMS CPS Basic Monthly data.

I want to merge the NBER data with the IPUMS CPS data but when I do I get 0 match pairs. I’m using: hrhhid hrhhid2 month mish huhhnum lineno statefip, as my merging variables. Should these variables and specifically hrhhid be the same in the IPUMS-CPS data and the NBER data?

If they are the same and i’m doing something wrong when I merge, I would appreciate any tips on merging these data sets.

Thank you!


On NBER it appears that PAYIFABS is in all months, not just ASEC. Why is it only for ASEC months here?
Merging issues with the Sep 2000, Apr 2001, Jun 2001 and Feb 2002 basic monthly CPS data (IPUMS-CPS with NBER)

Also to clarify I’m merging the years 1994-2013.



To match households between IPUMS and NBER data, use YEAR, MONTH, HRHHID and HRHHID2 for samples from May 2004 to present. For earlier samples, you will need to replace HRHHID2 with HUHHNUM, HRSAMPLE, HRSERSUF, and STATEFIP. If you also want to match person records, you will need to include LINENO, as well as verify your match using SEX and AGE.

I recommend checking that corresponding variables have the same format (i.e. numeric) in each dataset. If not, the merge will fail. I also recommend trying to first successfully merge one month’s samples in order to more easily identify any problems before attempting to merge multiple samples at once.

Hope this helps.