SIPP core content covers a variety of topics, including labor force status and employment, earnings, business ownership, assets, income, program participation, child support collection, health insurance, and education, among others. While CAI allows the SIPP interview to proceed seamlessly, analysts will perceive distinct sections within the core data.
The first group of survey questions addresses employment and earnings. This section collects information about the respondent's labor force status for each week of the reference period; identifies characteristics of employers, self-employment, and businesses the respondent might own; and gathers data about earnings, whether from a job or from self-employment. Respondents are asked about their labor force status and any unemployment compensation for a time period covering the beginning of the 4-month reference period up through the date of the interview. The type of work performed and dates of employment are also noted. The interviewer asks respondents who own businesses whether they are active in its management, own it as an investment, or are involved in some combination thereof. The survey also collects data on time spent looking for work, moonlighting, and the current employment situation for up to two jobs and two businesses. Employment status is derived from information about specific jobs.
The flow of the survey is such that questions about employment and job characteristics are asked first, with amounts collected separately. Probes ensure that amounts are reasonable and that gross amounts are obtained. Respondents are asked to refer to records whenever possible.
These questions focus on income from a source other than the respondent's work situation. Many of the questions address income or benefits from programs such as Social Security or Food Stamps (and in 1996 have been adapted to capture postreform welfare benefits); the survey also collects information about retirement, disability and survivors. income, unemployment insurance and workers. compensation as well as severance pay, lump-sum payments from pension or retirement plans, child support, and alimony payments. A set of general income questions takes information collected previously and obtains more details about who is covered, how payments are received, reasons for receiving government transfer income, and other data having to do with program participation. SIPP also collects information on amounts of "roll over" retirement accounts.
To obtain information on asset income, interviewers ask respondents which assets they own, prompting the respondent from a list including U.S. savings bonds, 401(k) plans, stocks, rental property, and the like. Respondents are also asked if they have received any lump-sum or regular payments from an IRA, Keogh, 401(k), or thrift plan. Other questions address income received from assets owned, other than retirement accounts. Income for some assets is collected and recorded within preset ranges. Most asset income is recorded in exact amounts whenever possible, however. The issue of joint ownership of assets is also addressed.
SIPP core content also includes small sections that deal with health insurance ownership and coverage (Medicare coverage, Medicaid, private and employer-provided health insurance, and reasons for noncoverage), education (educational attainment, adult school enrollment, and educational assistance), and energy assistance and school lunch program participation. Table 3-1 lists possible income and benefit sources, along with some special indicators.2008 Panel
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Page Last Modified: May 12, 2006