Status:Closed    Asked:Jul 26, 2017 - 03:10 PM

I am trying to create sample of poor single mothers to observe their food security status from 2005 to 2015.

I am trying to create sample of poor single mothers to observe their food security status from 2005 to 2015. I have HH level data for these women but when I try to restrict sample to 150% of poverty, there are no results to food security questions. I am not sure if I am merging it wrong. Please help.

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Staff Answer


Jeff Bloem


This is because the POVERTY variable is available for ASEC samples while the Food Security Supplement is fielded as part of the December basic monthly sample. You have at least two options.

(1) Due to the panel design of the CPS, you can merge ASEC samples with the Food Security Supplement by matching on those households who are included in both samples. This procedure can be accomplished via the use of the IPUMS CPS created variable MARBASECIDH and MARBASCIDP. Additional documentation on this process is available here.

(2) You could use one of the Outgoing Rotation Group/Earner Study variables. Although there isn't a ready-made poverty variable within these variables, you could generate some threshold for single mothers based on values of EARNWEEK and WKSWORKORG.

I hope this is helpful. Let us know if you have any additional questions.


Jul 26, 2017 - 04:26 PM

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Thanks Jeff. Following the paper I am trying to merge cps march, asec and food security supplement in two stages. However, CPSID is not giving me unique identifiers to complete the merge. I am not sure if any other combination of variables is needed. I am merging one year at a time.


Aug 16, 2017 - 02:33 PM

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It may also be helpful to include CPSIDP, the person level variable that uniquely identifies individuals across CPS samples. I hope this helps. If not, email me at with more details about the code you are using to merge these files.


Aug 16, 2017 - 04:21 PM

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