SPMWIC variable


I have a question about the variables in CPS-ASEC.

  1. Could you please explain the universe of GOTWIC variable? I’m curious if the GOTWIC universe can help identify WIC-eligible households or individuals."

  2. I can’t comprehend how the SPMPOV variable is imputed, even though I’ve read the working paper linked at the website. Do you assume all WIC-eligible individuals in WIC-eligible households receive WIC benefits? (If the respondent claims that they receive WIC benefit.) While I haven’t taken pregnant and postpartum women into account, I am unclear about the relationship between WIC benefits (SPMPOV variable) and the composition of children aged 0 to 4.

Does CPS take into account the variation in WIC benefits by age when imputing the SPMPOV variable?

GOTWIC is the IPUMS harmonized version of the Census source variable WICYN. While the Census codebook states that the universe for WICYN is Adult female, the description tab for UH_WICYN_A1 (the IPUMS source variable for GOTWIC) provides further information, stating that discussions with the Census reveal that further restrictions apply to the variable. These restrictions however are not fully documented. As noted in the description for UH_WICYN_A1, recipients of WIC are limited to women ages 15 to 45 OR women ages 15 plus who live in the same household with a child 6 years old or less. However, with some testing of the 2022 ASEC data, I found the universe consisting of women ages 15 to 45 OR women of any age who live in the same household with a child 5 years old or less to exactly match the universe for this variable. This may not be the case for all years and, as indicated on the variable description tab, this variable should be used with caution. Since there does not appear to be an income criteria for being in the universe for this variable, it will not fully identify WIC-eligible individuals. However, you may review the eligibility requirements for the WIC and use variables available on IPUMS to identify eligible individuals.

I’m not quite sure about your second question, but SPMPOV classifies SPM family units as being below or above the poverty line based on the unit’s income, including transfers such as those from the WIC, and the federal poverty guidelines. SPMPOV includes benefits received rather than how many individuals qualified for WIC. Thus, though the Census Bureau assigns WIC participation at the household level and then designates as beneficiaries all eligible women and children in the households that report WIC participation, this does not affect SPMPOV. Rather, SPMPOV includes all WIC benefits (available separately in SPMWIC) that each individual received across the SPM family unit, and includes it in the SPM unit’s total income (SPMTOTRES) when determining its poverty status.

I am not finding any information mentioning imputation of SPMPOV. If you know of any documentation that mentions this, I would appreciate it if you could share it.