Status:Closed    Asked:Sep 19, 2018 - 07:05 PM

Why are EARNWEEK and HOURWAGE not always consistent?

Dear staff,

By looking at IPUMS CPS October 2005, I found some observations for hourly paid workers (ELIGORG==1 & PAIDHOUR==2) where EARNWEEK is lower than HOURWAGE*UHRSWORK1 even after excluding top-coded observations.

However, according to the description of EARNWEEK, EARNWEEK represents the highest value between "1) the respondent's answer to the question, "How much do you usually earn per week at this job before deductions?"; or 2) for workers paid by the hour (and coded as "2" in PAIDHOUR), the reported number of hours the respondent usually worked at the job, multiplied by the hourly wage rate given in HOURWAGE. "

Does it mean that "number of hours the respondent usually worked at the job" is different from UHRSWORK1?


PS: Thank you for the amazing work.

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Staff Answer


Jeff Bloem


It seems that the cases where PAIDHOUR==2 and EARNWEEK is less than UHRSWORKORG*HOURWAGE all have OTPAY=="yes". This indicates that they are receiving overtime pay. So, the influence of overtime pay may be a factor that complicates the definition of EARNWEEK as reported on the variable description. We will look into clarifying this detail in our documentation.


Sep 25, 2018 - 08:18 AM

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