TABLE B-1 Summary Comparisons of CEX, March CPS, PSID, and SIPP

Feature

Consumer Expenditure Survey (Interview)

CPS (March Income Supplement)

Panel Study of Income Dynamics

Survey of Income and Program Participation

Sample Size and Design

5,000 consumer units; each unit in sample for 5 quarters; rotation group design; quarterly interviews

60,000 households; each household in sample for 8 months over 2-year period; rotation group design; monthly interviews (income supplement once per year)

9,000 families; overrepresents low-income families; continuing panel with annual interviews

40,000 households (50,000 proposed); new panel each February (every 4 years proposed); each original sample adult in panel for 32 months (48 months proposed); interviews every 4 months

Income Data

Annual data for 12 months prior to 2nd and 5th interviews; 5 sources for individuals, 11 sources for consumer unit; major in-kind benefits

Data for prior calendar year for about 35 cash and in-kind sources

Data for prior calendar year for about 25 cash and in-kind sources with specific months received

Data for about 70 cash and in-kind sources at each 4-month wave, with monthly reporting for most sources

Tax Data

Information to determine federal, state, and local income taxes; payroll taxes; property taxes; sales taxes

None

Information to determine federal and state income taxes; payroll taxes; property taxes

Information to determine federal, state, and local income taxes; payroll taxes; property taxes

consumer unit; and the total number of sources asked about is considerably smaller than in the other surveys. Experience gained in the Income Survey Development Program (ISDP—the predecessor to SIPP) and SIPP itself suggests that each of these factors hampers complete income reporting.6

6  

Experiments in the ISDP found that a "short" income form produced less complete reporting than the "long" form subsequently used in SIPP and that asking a single respondent about income receipt by other members of the household produced less complete reporting than asking each member about his or her own income (Ycas and Lininger, 1983:27). Also, no imputations are performed in the CEX for missing income information.



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