In the proposed design, the Contractor should address issues with the current CE surveys:

• Underreporting of expenditures.

• Fundamental changes in the social environment for collection of survey data.

• Fundamental changes in the retail environment (e.g., online spending, automatic payments).

• The potential availability of large amounts of expenditure data from a relatively small number of intermediaries such as credit card companies.

• Declining response rates at the unit, wave, and item levels.

The proposal may include a moderate number of methodological and technological options, (e.g., a mixture of household-based and establishment/ intermediary-based data collection) but should go beyond simply listing possible options. Instead the report should provide, to the extent possible, concrete and specific design elements supported by in-depth explanations and evidence from the Contractor’s evaluation. In other words, any proposed design should be practical and supported by evidence to demonstrate feasibility and have a rationale for expectations of improvement to the issues associated with the CE surveys.

3. In addition to proposing a new CE design, the report should include clear recommendations for evaluating the proposal in a CE-specific context, such as a pilot study. The recommendation should include

• the design of a study or studies to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed design,

• a careful description of the ways in which the study or studies would provide practical insights into the proposed new design, and

• estimated financial and time requirements for the recommended study or studies.

Background Material

The Contractor will review background material pertinent to the potential redesign of the CE. Many of these materials can be found at the Gemini Project website (see http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/print.pl/cex/geminimaterials.htm). These materials include, but are not limited to, the following:



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