This paper considers data quality issues for the analysis of consumption inequality exploiting two complementary datasets from the Consumer Expenditure Survey for the United States. The Interview sample follows survey households over four calendar quarters and consists of retrospectively collected information about monthly expenditures on durable and non-durable goods. The Diary sample interviews household for two consecutive weeks and includes detailed information about frequently purchased items (food, personal cares and household supplies). Most reliable information from each sample is exploited to derive a correction for the measurement error affecting observed measures of consumption inequality in the two surveys. We find that consumption inequality, as measured by the standard deviat...
The research activities of the NBER are funded by grants from federal research agencies, by private foundations, and by generous donations from our corporate associates and from private individuals. The NBER is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. For information on supporting the NBER, please contact:
Mr. Denis Healy, Director of Development
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138-5398