Status:Closed    Asked:Mar 06, 2018 - 08:35 PM

What is swapped when incomes are swapped?

Under the current CPS rank proximity swapping procedure, is it only the incomes that are swapped, or are entire records swapped? Or something intermediate between these?

When the CPS data are swapped, is the swapping determined only by income band, or are the swaps also constrained or matched by geography, demographic characteristics, or other factors?

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Staff Answer


Jeff Bloem


Only the income values are swapped. The specifics of this procedure depends on the year. Until 2010 records with a value greater than the top code value are replaced with the mean earnings for top coded individuals with similar characteristics. (See this page for information on characteristics definitions.) In 2011 and onward all income values greater than or equal to the swap value were systematically swapped with other top coded cases, within a bounded interval.


Mar 07, 2018 - 12:31 PM

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Topcode Replacement Values IPMUS CPS ASEC
Extent of truncation of high income values prior to calculation of means
Totals constructed from swap values, average-above-threshold values, and top...
Totals constructed from swap values, average-above-topcode-threshold values, ...
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