Skip to Main Content
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on National Statistics
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
 The 2014 Redesign of the Survey of Income and Program Participation:
An Assessment  
 2014 Survey Redesign Prepub

Download for free:


 The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) is a national, longitudinal household survey conducted by the Census Bureau. SIPP serves as a tool to evaluate the effectiveness of government-sponsored social programs and to analyze the impacts of actual or proposed modifications to those programs. The Census Bureau has reengineered SIPP—fielding the initial redesigned survey in 2014. Two major changes made in the reengineering were that sampled households are contacted only once per year rather than three times and that the topical modules have been eliminated. The bureau asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to conduct an independent evaluation of the new design compared with the old design, as a complement to its own evaluations. In response, the National Academies established the Panel on the Review and Evaluation of the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation Content and Design and tasked this study panel with: (1) comparing key estimates across the two designs, (2) evaluating the content of the redesigned SIPP, (3) evaluating the impact of the new design on respondent burden, and (4) considering content changes for future improvement of SIPP.

Sponsor: U.S. Department of Commerce's Census Bureau

Project Information

Project Description
An ad hoc committee will conduct an evaluation of the redesigned Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) of the U.S. Census Bureau. Begun in 1984, SIPP uniquely provides monthly information on family composition, income, employment, program participation, and other characteristics for a large sample of households followed over a period of several years. SIPP traditionally has interviewed sample households every 4 months with a core questionnaire and topical modules. Beginning in 2014, SIPP will use a new design in which sample members are interviewed once a year with the use of a streamlined set of content and an event history calendar (EHC) to prompt recall of intra-year changes in characteristics. The committee will conduct analyses of data collected under the new and old designs, compared with administrative records whenever feasible and appropriate, to determine the extent to which the new design improves upon, maintains, or underperforms the old design in terms of the quality of key estimates, such as poverty rates and participation in assistance programs, and other metrics. The committee will also evaluate the depth and breadth of the 2014 SIPP content; evaluate the impact of the new SIPP data collection instrument on respondent burden; and consider content changes for subsequent SIPP survey panels that could improve the utility of the data. The committee will review the results of the analyses, deliberate, and prepare a report at the conclusion of its study with findings and recommendations for potential modifications that could improve SIPP data quality and usefulness under the new design.

Committee Members

John L. Czajka (Chair), Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. 
Marianne P. Bitler, University of California, Irvine 
Peter D. Brandon, University of Albany, SUNY 
Michael R. Elliott, University of Michigan 
Andrew Houtenville, University of New Hampshire 
John Iceland, Pennsylvania State University 
Kosuke Imai, Princeton University 
Daniel Kasprzyk, Independent Consultant 
H. Luke Shaefer, University of Michigan 
Arloc Sherman, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 
Karen E. Smith, The Urban Institute 
Tom W. Smith, National Opinion Research Center at UC 
James P. Ziliak, University of Kentucky

Staff Contact: Agnes Gaskin

Meeting Information
March 6-7, 2014

(Please note that the presentations included
here may be subject to
copyright restrictions
of the individual presenters.)
Introduction to SIPP and Expectations for this Panel

David Johnson – Chief, Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division
U.S. Census Bureau

History of SIPP and CNSTAT Collaborations
Connie Citro – Director, Committee on National Statistics

SIPP Re-engineering: Design and Timeline
Jason Fields – U.S. Census Bureau

SIPP Re-engineering: Evaluation and Timelines
Graton Gathright and Martha Stinson
U.S. Census Bureau







CNSTAT Home About CNSTAT CNSTAT Members CNSTAT Staff CNSTAT Mission Other Sites of Interest News and Events Upcoming Events CNSTAT News Public Seminars and Symposia Our Work People, Projects, and Publications Principles and Practices Presentations CNSTAT Member Presentations Publications CNSTAT Reports Principles and Practices (P&P) Work With Us Our Study Process Study Process Brochure Getting to Know the Committee Process Overview for Sponsors Guide for Study Sponsors