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I am doing an analysis with the PSID and I need a very simple variable – race. Where is the race variable?


The PSID was originally a survey that focused on household poverty and transitions in and out of poverty so many items that a user might expect to be an individual characteristic are found as “x of head” or “x of spouse of head.”

Race is an item that was treated like this. Thus, race is found in the PSID family level variables for the head and the spouse.

The child supplement to the PSID, which is a newer data collection project, does code the race of each child directly.

If you are interested in just heads and spouses, find the race variable in the family level variables.

If you are interested in other persons you will have to make some assumptions. You can assign a person the race they identify with once. For instance, a person who is a child in 1988 (with no race), will have a race when they are a family head.

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