An Initial Evaluation of Poverty in the SIPP-EHC
Ashley Edwards, U.S. Census Bureau
In an effort to reduce costs and improve data quality in the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), the Census Bureau re-engineered the survey by implementing a longer retrospective reference period (one year instead of four months) and adopting an event history calendar (EHC) to facilitate respondent recall over the longer reference period. This paper examines the impact of the SIPP redesign on on respondent’s poverty status and poverty transitions within a reference period. Specifically, this analysis uses a limited sample of data collected in the 2010 and 2011 SIPP-EHC field tests and a matched sample of data from the 2008 SIPP Panel in order to compare (1) monthly poverty rates, (2) the number and length of poverty spells, and (3) the probability of exiting a poverty spell across SIPP and SIPP-EHC survey instruments.