estimates from 1987 to 1990 were only about 0.70 for food, 0.75 for household furnishings and equipment, 0.60 for apparel and services, and 0.60 for public transportation (see also Bosworth, Burtless, and Sabelhaus, 1991; Gieseman, 1987; Slesnick, 1991a).1

Researchers who analyze expenditure data typically work with the Interview Survey, from which users can construct annual data on expenditures and income. (The Interview and Diary Survey samples are independent, so there is no way to actually link the microrecords.) However, some proportion of consumer units in the sample for the Interview Survey do not have observations for all four quarters because of dropping out of the survey or moving away from the sampled address. (The sample, technically, is one of addresses. Consumer units that move from the sampled address are not followed, but, instead, the new occupants are interviewed.) Also, because of the rotation design, a large proportion of observations with complete information must have their data adjusted in some manner in order to obtain calendar-year estimates.

Content of the Interview Survey
  • Demographic characteristics

  • Work experience Information is obtained for consumer unit members aged 14 and over on work experience and job characteristics in the previous quarter and in the prior 12 months (the latter information is obtained at the second and fifth interviews).

  • Detailed expenditures Detailed quarterly data (per each payment or bill) are obtained for expenditure categories that comprise an estimated 60-70 percent of total expenditures, including rent, facilities, and services for rented living quarters (including housing assistance subsidies); payments on mortgages, lump-sum home equity loans, and line of credit home equity loans; ownership costs (extra payments on mortgage principal, ground rent, cooperative or condominium fees); telephone expenses; utilities and fuels; construction, repairs, alterations, and maintenance of property; purchases of appliances, household equipment, and other selected items; household equipment repairs, service contracts, and furniture repair and reupholstering; purchases of home furnishings and related household items; purchases of clothing; purchases of infants' clothing, watches, jewelry, and hairpieces; purchases of sewing materials; payments for leased vehicles; purchases of vehicles; disposals of vehicles; vehicle maintenance and repair; vehicle equipment, parts, and accessories; licensing, registration, and inspection of vehicles; other vehicle operating expenses; premiums for other than health insurance; premiums for health insurance; coverage by Medicare and Medicaid; medical and health expenditures


However, the NIPA and CEX data are not strictly comparable.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement