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What is up with the allocation item for earnings in the March CPS? It drops from a reasonable 22% to around 2% between 1987 and 1988. I am using data from IPUMS-CPS (qincwage).


This is a good data mystery.

A longer answer is available from this link:


The short answer is that the CPS changed its data collection and edit procedures in 1988. They added a whole-case imputation flag, which the IPUMS-CPS does not include (FL-655). Below are two links to code, which show how to calculate imputation. The variable names are not IPUMS-harmonized names, but instead match the original March CPS names. This makes sense as for now, you have to go to another source to get the FL-665 item.

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