Status:Open    Asked:Jun 14, 2018 - 11:38 PM

Is there a list of IPUMS-CPS ultimate income components in somewhere? Of income quality flags?

This is a follow-up to a previous question, "Is there some alternative to quality flags that gives information about imputation of income variables?" I am trying to draw the complete tree of CPS income accounting, and a complete list of income related quality flags. I have been working my way through the income variables, looking in the Comparability tab for subsidiary components, then looking at those components to see if they have components, etc., and when I find a component with no subcomponents, checking to see if it has a quality flag.

However, this is fussy work and I think it would be easy to make a mistake. It seems that sometimes subsidiary components are in the Description tab, and sometimes in the Comparability tab. I do not know what to make of the fact that OINCFARM is shown as available only back to 1988 for the all ASEC sample, while QOINCFARM is shown as available back to 1976. Likewise INCALOTH shows as available from 1968-1987, while QINCALOT appears not to start until 1976, but continues through 2017. Also, my belief that I have found everything is eroded by the ragged start-dates of quality flags for long-running variables, e.g. 1988 for QOINCWAGE versus 1976 for QOINCBUS. Finally, I find the fact that INCLONGJ is conditionally reallocated to other variables based on SRCEARN quite unsettling, as I wonder if there are other such income reallocations that I might have missed.

I was thinking that perhaps all the quality flags begin with the letter Q, as they generally appear to of them appear to. However, I have not been able to find a list in this way. Selecting Q in the alphabetic dropdown menu under variable selection does not show any of these variables. Moreover, where I have found a variable via a Flags tab, the link to the group "Data Quality Flags — PERSON" appears to be broken for all variables. Clicking on it just takes me to an empty variable selection screen, not to a group page.

So here is my question: is there anywhere that a complete lis of ultimate sources of income, i.e. income components without further subcomponents, are listed, preferably by year? I have the top-level list from the INCTOT Compatibility tab, but I have not found anything resembling a bottom-level list. I thought maybe the list of top-coded variables could be used for this purpose, but it appears that this list included both aggregated totals and subcomponent totals, and I also do not know if every ultimate income component has a top-code value, or only some subset.

In the same vein, is there a complete list of all the income quality flags anywhere, and if so, how do I find it? I would find such a list a useful cross-check against my own efforts to assemble these variables.

Finally, on a different but closely related question, I find the documentation for INCALOTH confusing. It appears to say that certain categories of income are reported twice, once in INCALOTH and again in various more disaggregated variables. However, it is not clear whether all of the income in these categories is also added to INCALOTH, or only a portion. In the latter case, I would want to know if the duplicated portion is broken out separately anywhere. In order to do consistent income accounting, I would need to subtract the duplicated portions from INCALOTH. This is really just another plea for a complete, top-to-bottom version of the breakdown of income components by year that you begin in INCTOT.

I look forward to any assistance you can provide.

Warmest regards, Andrew Hoerner

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