Top coded FTOTINC (Total family income)

Hi! Could you please help me with the variable Total family income. I can’t get whether I need to adjust the to-coded values for this variable. The downloaded excel files 2000 and onwards do not contain top coded values for this variable.


I assume you are referencing the IPUMS USA variable FTOTINC; please correct me if I am wrong. FTOTINC is the sum of the total income (INCTOT) for all of one’s family members (as defined by FAMUNIT) in the previous year. INCTOT is constructed by summing income reported from eight different sources for the 2000 decennial and ACS data (see the INCTOT comparability tab). There are no variable-specific top-codes for FTOTINC or INCTOT; however, the component income measures for INCTOT have top-codes.

I am also not sure what you mean by adjusting top-coded values, but hope this information is helpful. Please follow up if I have misunderstood anything or if you have further questions.

Thanks for detailed explanation. I am sorry for not being clear. The literature suggests to multiply top-coded rental prices, housing values and income wage by 1.5 (Notowidigdo,
2020; Autor and Dorn, 2009). For example, when I download 2000-5 percent sample topcodes excel file I see that topcoded incwage variable for Alabama is 322,000 and rent 2,200. The topcoded values are also provided for some other variables such as incwelf, incss, incinvest etc. However, I do not see the top-coded values for FTOTINC and INCTOT.
you can find the reference to top-coded values here: IPUMS USA | Top and Bottom Codes

Thanks for the clarification.

Because FTOTINC (and INCTOT) are not directly reported, there are not top-codes specific to these variables. To my knowledge, there is no documentation summarizing the top-coded values for these variables, only their component income measures. You could create the top-codes yourself by summing the top-codes for all component variables for INCTOT, and then multiplying this derived INCTOT top-code by the number of family members to get a list of FTOTINC top-codes by family size.