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EARNWT
Earnings weight

Codes

EARNWT is an 8-digit numeric variable with four implied decimals. That is, 12345678 should be interpreted as 1234.5678. The IPUMS command files automatically divide EARNWT by 10000, so no further adjustment is needed.

Description

EARNWT is a person-level weight that should be used in any analysis including one of the following variables: EARNWEEK, HOURWAGE, PAIDHOUR, UNION, UHRSWORKORG, WKSWORKORG, ELIGORG, and OTPAY. For any other analysis using ASEC data, researchers should use WTSUPP or for analyses of non-ASEC data, WTFINL.

Individuals in the 6 rotation groups that were not asked the "earner study" questions (covering EARNWEEK, HOURWAGE, PAIDHOUR, UNION, UHRSWORKORG, WKSWORKORG, ELIGORG, and OTPAY) have a value of zero for EARNWT. Even in the 2 rotation groups where "earner study" questions were fielded, members of the armed forces have a value of zero for EARNWT.

According to Technical Paper 66, issued jointly by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals eligible for the earner study are civilians age 15 and older in rotation groups 4 or 8 who are not self-employed. In the data itself, this is true in all samples up to and including those in 1997. From 1998 to 2010, only individuals age 16 and older in rotation groups 4 or 8, and are not self-employed, are in universe for this variable. This universe also applies to basic monthly samples after 2010. In ASEC samples after 2010, the data reflect the published universe.

In any given month, approximately 1/4 of the CPS sample is in the earner study and each household should appear in the earner study exactly twice. Based on documentation from Unicon and NBER, and after an inspection of the original CPS data, we recommend that users impose the CPS eligibility restrictions in any analyses of earner study variables.

Comparability

EARNWT is comparable over time.

Universe

  • 1982-1997 BMS: Employed persons in outgoing rotation groups, but not self employed, age 15 and older
  • 1990-1997 ASEC: Employed persons in outgoing rotation groups, but not self employed, age 15 and older
  • 1998-2010 ASEC: Employed persons in outgoing rotation groups, but not self employed, age 16 and older
  • 1998+ BMS: Employed persons in outgoing rotation groups, but not self employed, age 16 and older
  • 2011+ ASEC: Employed persons in outgoing rotation groups, but not self employed, age 15 and older

Availability

Years Jan Feb ASEC Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1982 – 1989 X X - X X X X X X X X X X
1990 – 2018 X X X X X X X X X X X X X
2019 X X X X X X X X X X X - -

Flags

This variable has no flags.

UNHARMONIZED VARIABLES