Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures

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Christopher D. Carroll, Thomas F. Crossley, John Sabelhaus
University of Chicago Press, Jun 16, 2015 - Business & Economics - 504 pages
Robust and reliable measures of consumer expenditures are essential for analyzing aggregate economic activity and for measuring differences in household circumstances. Many countries, including the United States, are embarking on ambitious projects to redesign surveys of consumer expenditures, with the goal of better capturing economic heterogeneity. This is an appropriate time to examine the way consumer expenditures are currently measured, and the challenges and opportunities that alternative approaches might present.

Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures begins with a comprehensive review of current methodologies for collecting consumer expenditure data. Subsequent chapters highlight the range of different objectives that expenditure surveys may satisfy, compare the data available from consumer expenditure surveys with that available from other sources, and describe how the United States’s current survey practices compare with those in other nations.
 

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Contents

Introduction Christopher D Carroll Thomas F Crossley and John Sabelhaus
1
I What Do We Already Know about Collecting Household Expenditure Data?
21
II Goals for the Expenditure Survey Redesign
51
III Evaluating the Existing CE Survey
179
IV Alternative Approaches to Data Collection
287
Contributors
493
Author Index
497
Subject Index
501
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About the author (2015)

Christopher D. Carroll is professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University and the Chief Economist of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He is a former research associate of the NBER. Thomas F. Crossley is professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Essex. John Sabelhaus is an economist and chief of the Microeconomic Surveys Section at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC.