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Nov 8 -- The Census Bureau has asked OMB to approve the design of the 2022 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and invites the public to submit comments by December 8, 2020.
 
The main objective of the SIPP is to provide accurate and comprehensive information about the income and program participation of individuals and households in the United States. The survey’s mission is to provide a nationally representative sample for evaluating: 1) annual and sub-annual income dynamics; 2) movements into and out of government transfer programs; 3) family and social context of individuals and households; and 4) interactions among these items. A major use of the SIPP is to evaluate the use of, and eligibility for, government programs and to analyze the impacts of modifications to those programs. The SIPP collects detailed information on cash and non-cash income (including participation in government transfer programs) once per year.   
  
The SIPP collects information about a variety of topics including demographics, household composition, education, nativity and citizenship, health insurance coverage, Medicaid, Medicare, employment and earnings, unemployment insurance, assets, child support, disability, housing subsidies, migration, Old-Age Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI), poverty, and participation in various government programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). In the spring of 2021, as part of the American Rescue Plan, the child tax credit was expanded, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was instructed to pay out monthly benefits. The 2022 SIPP instrument will collect receipt of the child tax credit payments.

The SIPP sample is nationally representative, with an oversample of low-income areas, in order to increase the ability to measure participation in government programs.

The SIPP program provides critical information necessary to understand patterns and relationships in income and program participation. It will fulfill its objectives to keep respondent burden and costs low, maintain high data quality and timeliness, and use a refined and vetted instrument and processing system. The SIPP data collection instrument maintains the improved data collection experience for respondents and interviewers and focuses on improvements in data quality and better topic integration.

Starting in 2019, the Census Bureau and the Social Security Administration (SSA) entered into a joint agreement where both agencies support the SIPP program by contributing resources to add, process, review, and maintain additional content on marital history, parental mortality, retirement and pension, and disability. This joint agreement started in September 2019 and goes until September 30, 2023.

This request is for the SIPP collection starting February 2022. The Census Bureau plans to conduct the SIPP using an overlapping sample design. The Census Bureau's SIPP Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) will use an Event History Calendar (EHC) interviewing method and a 12-month, calendar-year reference period. This is the same approach as the 2014 and the 2018 SIPP Panels. The SIPP instrument content and post-production processing will remain similar to that of the 2021 SIPP.    
 
The SIPP instrument is currently written in Blaise and C#. It incorporates an Event History Calendar (EHC) design to help ensure that the SIPP will collect intra-year dynamics of income, program participation, and other activities with at least the same data quality as earlier panels. The EHC is intended to help respondents recall information in a more natural “autobiographical” manner by using life events as triggers to recall other economic events. For example, a residence change may often occur contemporaneously with a change in employment. The entire process of compiling the calendar focuses, by its nature, on consistency and sequential order of events, and attempts to correct for otherwise missing data.

Since the SIPP EHC collects information using this “autobiographical” manner for the prior year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, select questions were modified to include answer options related to the pandemic as well as adding new questions pertaining to the pandemic. For instance, we adjusted the question regarding being away from work part-time to include being possibly furloughed due to coronavirus pandemic business closures. We also added new questions to collect information on whether the respondent received any stimulus payments.
 
The SIPP respondent universe is the civilian, noninstitutionalized population based on the 2010 decennial census, which contains approximately 303.5 million individuals. The SIPP uses a two-stage stratified sample of this universe. The first stage involves the division of the United States into groups of counties called the Primary Selection Units (PSUs), which are assembled into homogeneous groups called strata. Two PSUs are then selected from each stratum. The second stage involves selection of units within the selected PSUs.

Within each PSU, living quarters (LQs) are systematically selected from lists of addresses prepared from the 2010 decennial census. Other sampling techniques are used to represent new construction and group quarters. Low-income households are over-sampled from the lists of addresses.

The SIPP sample comes from the 2010 sample redesign. The SIPP sample is currently planned for approximately 53,000 designated LQs, it will yield approximately 42,400 designated occupied LQs at the time of interview in 2021, of which approximately 33,600 will be interviewed. Each household contains an average of 2.1 eligible respondents (aged 15 years and older), therefore, the planned SIPP sample of approximately 53,000 designated LQs, and it should contain approximately 70,560 survey respondents.
 
SIPP webpage: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/sipp.html
2022 SIPP submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202110-0607-003  Click IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for narrative on purpose, uses, methods, timeline. Submit comments through this webpage.
FR notice inviting comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/08/2021-24369/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-to-the-office-of-management-and-budget-omb-for
 
Point of contact: Hyon B. Shin, Assistant Division Chief, Survey Coordination and Disclosure Avoidance, Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division, U.S. Census Bureau    301-763-6169  census.sipp@census.gov
 
For AEA members wishing to provide comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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