Research Specific to a Single Prototype

These topics were listed earlier in the chapter under the descriptions of the panel’s three prototypes, but are repeated here so that research needs are together in one place in this report.

Design A—Detailed Expenditures Through Self Administration:

  • Develop models that would estimate quarterly and annual expenditures and income at the household level from the four weeks of reported detailed data plus the data reported on larger and routine expenditures.

Design B—A Comprehensive Picture of Expenditures and Income:

  • Investigate the assumption that a “bounding” interview is unnecessary to avoid telescoping and other issues.
  • Investigate the accuracy and completeness of aggregated expenditures for periods up to six months and for estimates of averages (i.e., average monthly spending for gasoline) used in this prototype to construct a full set of microdata for the entire six-month period.
  • Develop appropriate models to “disaggregate” aggregated expenses using data from the one-week supported journal.
  • Develop methodology for a successful component that will use an intensive interview and process based on prior collation of records and financial software to achieve a budget balance for the year at the household level as described below. Extend existing research done by Fricker, Kopp, and To (2011) to fully evaluate its potential and limitations.

Design C—Dividing Tasks Among Multiple Integrated Samples:

  • Research and develop models for estimation using the base survey and two waves of data collection.
  • Research and develop models for imputing at the household level “smaller expense items” collected on the detailed expenditure component and not on the household profile component into the household-level dataset to complete the overall household expense profile.

Recommendation 6-11: BLS should engage in a program of targeted research on the topics listed in this report that will inform the specific redesign of the CE.

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