NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by David Johnson

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Working Papers

October 2013Is the Consumer Expenditure Survey Representative by Income?
with John Sabelhaus, Stephen Ash, David Swanson, Thesia Garner, John Greenlees, Steve Henderson: w19589
Aggregate under-reporting of household spending in the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) can result from two fundamental types of measurement errors: higher-income households (who presumably spend more than average) are under-represented in the CE estimation sample, or there is systematic under-reporting of spending by at least some CE survey respondents. Using a new data set linking CE units to zip-code level average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), we show that the very highest-income households are less likely to respond to the survey when they are sampled, but unit non-response rates are not associated with income over most of the income distribution. Although increasing representation at the high end of the income distribution could in principle significantly raise aggregate CE spending, ...

Forthcoming: Is the Consumer Expenditure Survey Representative by Income?, John Sabelhaus, David Johnson, Stephen Ash, David Swanson, Thesia Garner, John Greenlees, Steve Henderson. in Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures, Carroll, Crossley, and Sabelhaus. 2014

January 2011Consumer Spending and the Economic Stimulus Payments of 2008
with Jonathan A. Parker, Nicholas S. Souleles, Robert McClelland: w16684
We measure the response of household spending to the economic stimulus payments (ESPs) disbursed in mid-2008, using special questions added to the Consumer Expenditure Survey and variation arising from the randomized timing of when the payments were disbursed. We find that, on average, households spent about 12-30% (depending on the specification) of their stimulus payments on nondurable expenditures during the three-month period in which the payments were received. Further, there was also a substantial and significant increase in spending on durable goods, in particular vehicles, bringing the average total spending response to about 50-90% of the payments. Relative to research on the 2001 tax rebates, these spending responses are estimated with greater precision using the randomized timin...

Published: Jonathan A. Parker & Nicholas S. Souleles & David S. Johnson & Robert McClelland, 2013. "Consumer Spending and the Economic Stimulus Payments of 2008," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2530-53, October. citation courtesy of

September 2004Household Expenditure and the Income Tax Rebates of 2001
with Jonathan A. Parker, Nicholas S. Souleles: w10784
Under the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, most U.S. taxpayers received a tax rebate between July and September, 2001. The week in which the rebate was mailed was based on the second-to-last digit of the taxpayer's Social Security number, a digit that is effectively randomly assigned. Using special questions about the rebates added to the Consumer Expenditure Survey, we exploit this historically unique experiment to measure the change in consumption expenditures caused by receipt of the rebate and to test the Permanent Income Hypothesis and related models. We find that households spent about 20-40 percent of their rebates on non-durable goods during the three-month period in which their rebates were received, and roughly another third of their rebates during the s...

Published: David S. Johnson & Jonathan A. Parker & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2006. "Household Expenditure and the Income Tax Rebates of 2001," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1589-1610, December. citation courtesy of

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
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