TABLE 3-1 Design Features of the Consumer Expenditure Surveys

Current Consumer Expenditure Surveys
Interview Survey Diary Survey
Population U.S. civilian noninstitutional population U.S. civilian noninstitutional population
Information Collected Household and personal expenditures: large and regularly occurring expenditures via 3+ month recall Household and personal expenditures: small, frequently purchased items
Sampling Frame 2000 Census 100-Percent Detail File augmented by new construction permits 2000 Census 100-Percent Detail File augmented by new construction permits
Sample Design Multistage area probability sample using 91 Primary Sampling Units; rotating quarterly panel design for five quarters Multistage area probability sample using 91 Primary Sampling Units; sampled addresses are equally spread across 52 weeks
Mode and Field Protocols Personal interview (CAPI) with decentralized telephone interviewing (CATI) allowed Initial interview and 2 consecutive weekly diaries; weekly follow-up to retrieve diary
Household Sample Size 15,000 addresses 12,000 addresses
Average Interview Time 60 minutes (quarterly interview) Unknown
Completed Interviews in 2010 35,843 14,599
Overall Response Ratea 73.4% 71.5%
Approximate Cost (2010) $17 million $3.7 million
Approximate Cost per Completed Case (2010) $476 $248
Data Collection Period for Each Household 13 months 2 weeks

aSee Chapter 5, Nonresponse section, for a fuller explanation of response rates.

SOURCES: Panel-designed table based on BLS documentation (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012) and internal spreadsheet provided to panel.



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