are proportionately older, low-income but higher asset households. Dehejia, DeLeire, and Luttmer (2007) found that individuals who contribute to religious organizations are better able to insure consumption against income shocks. James (2009) examined the characteristics of households that make political contributions. He used a decade of CE data from 1995 to 2005. His analysis showed that political contributions were positively associated with income, wealth, education, and well-being. Political giving was negatively correlated with being a single female and being nonwhite.


For over a century, the collection of consumer expenditures on the CE and its predecessor surveys has played an irreplaceable role in understanding the market basket of goods and services that consumers purchase. While providing budget shares for the CPI remains a vital reason for the collection of consumer expenditures, a number of prominent uses of these data have emerged since the inception of these surveys. When contemplating revisions to the CE, it is important to remember that the CE has three critical but diverse uses, all of which have great importance for U.S. society: the CPI, the administration of a diverse array of government programs, and research that provides insight into policy decisions such as the effects of tax or other economic stimuli.

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