Measuring Income and Poverty in Four Surveys: an Overview. Exhibit 2B. Income Amounts and Recipiency

08/09/2008

Exhibit 2B. Income Amounts and Recipiency

           Medical Expenditure Panel SurveyNational Health Interview Survey
Definitions Differ From CPSInternal Revenue Service definitions used for tax filers Note 1 -Wages omit “above the line” item such as 401(k) contributions -Self-employment earnings other than sole proprietorships and farm reported with rents, royalties, estates and trusts- Includes taxable lump-sum or non-periodic payments- Excludes tax exempt interest for tax filersEarnings amount includes net income from rental property and unemployment or worker’s compensation- Recipiency data groupings conform to CPS definitions – rental income is grouped with dividends, estates and trusts
Amount Detail For PersonsUp to 16 sources and amounts of income-Taxable income sources not person-level for joint return filers -- primary filer allocates amounts between self and spouse-Additional data on employment in separate JOBS fileOne bracket for total earnings from all sources-Recipiency but no amounts for up to 10 other sources – public use file has no imputations of recipiency-Brackets on public use file are $5,000 wide below $25,000 and $10,000 wide from $25,000 to $75,000
Person and Family TotalsSum of detail for persons and familyOne bracket for total income of NHIS-type familyBrackets on public use file are $5,000 wide below $25,000 and $10,000 wide from $25,000 to $75,000-NCHS creates 5 files of imputations and recommends that analyses be performed 5 times and results averaged
Persons CoveredPersons 16 or over, and persons under 16 who report filing a tax return, for taxable income source-All persons for all other income sourcesPersons 18 or over for earnings
Reference PeriodPrior calendar yearPrior calendar year
Recall LengthAverage 15 months maximum 18 months            Average 18 months maximum 23 months