This section discusses procedures for working with data from the topical module public use files from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). The section begins by describing the documentation that accompanies the topical module public use files obtained from the Census Bureau. The discussion then turns to the data files themselves. The data file structure is described, and detailed explanations are provided about how to use the topical module files when performing common tasks. Those tasks include:
Before reading this chapter, users should read Chapter 9 of the SIPP Users' Guide, "The SIPP Public Use Files," for an introduction to Section II. Analysts using only one topical module file also should read about the use of sample weights (Chapter 8 of the SIPP Users' Guide) and the computation of standard errors (Chapter 7). Those planning on merging data from a topical module to data from the core wave or full panel files should also read Chapter 10 for information about the core wave files, Chapter 12 of the SIPP Users' Guide for information about the full panel files, and Chapter 13 of the SIPP Users' Guide for information about linking SIPP public use files.
This section focuses on the topical module files. It is written so that it can be used independently of the sections describing the core wave and full panel files. Although there are many similarities across the three types of SIPP public use data files, important differences do exist. Because those differences are sometimes subtle, users familiar with the core wave and full panel files should read this chapter carefully, paying close attention to information about variable names and file structures. Tables 9-2 and 9-3 in the SIPP Users' Guide summarize the differences between 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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