When text copy applies to both 1996 and pre-1996 panel files, pre-1996 variable names appear in parentheses following 1996 variable names.
This section discusses procedures for working with data from the core wave public use data files of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). It describes the documentation that accompanies the core wave public use files obtained from the Census Bureau. Discussion then turns to the data files themselves. The data file structure is described, and detailed explanations are provided about how to use the core wave files when performing common tasks, including (among others):
Understanding the effects of topcoding;
Using imputation flags; and
Identifying states and metropolitan areas.
Before reading this section, users should read Chapter 9 of the SIPP Users' Guide for an introduction to Section II. Analysts using only one core wave file should also read about the use of sample weights (Chapter 8 of the SIPP Users' Guide) or Using Samples Weights on SIPP Files and the computation of standard errors (Chapter 7 of the SIPP Users' Guide). Those planning on merging data from multiple core wave files, from full panel files, or from topical module files should read Chapter 11 of the SIPP Users' Guide for information about the topical module files, Chapter 12 for information about the full panel files, and Chapter 13 of the SIPP Users' Guide for information about linking SIPP public use files. This chapter focuses on the core wave files. It is written so that it can be used independently from the chapters describing the topical module files and the full panel files. Although there are many similarities across the three types of files, important differences do exist. Because those differences are sometimes subtle, users familiar with the topical module and full panel files should read this chapter carefully, paying close attention to information about variable names and file structures. Table 9-2 in the SIPP Users' Guide summarizes the differences among the core wave, topical module, and full panel longitudinal research files.
For the 1996 Panel, most variable names changed from those used in previous panels. To aid users working with files from panels prior to 1996, this chapter presents both the old and the new variable names when the text applies to both 1996 and pre-1996 panel files. In the main body of the text, the old names are presented in parentheses following the new names. For example, the sample unit ID variable name, which is SSUID in the 1996 Panel, was SUID in previous panels; it is written in this chapter as SSUID (SUID). In tables, a variety of methods are used to present both the old and the new names.SIPP Public Use Files
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