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I want to combine two years of the March CPS to compare with data from a survey that took place over a two-year period. The survey took place in 1994 and 1995.


The CPS respondents are in the survey for 4 months, out for 8 months, and then in again for 4 months. Thus, to get independent samples, you should use the year and month in sample (MIS) items.

To read more about the CPS samples, see pages 33 in the CPS Technical Guide:


For your particular years, you should use MIS = 5-8 for year i and MIS = 1-4 for year i+1.

One other note, is that the income question refers to the previous year. Thus, you will probably want to use the 1995 and 1996 CPS files to report on income for 1994 and 1995.

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