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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|February 2014||The Potential Use of In-Home Scanner Technology for Budget Surveys|
in Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures, Christopher D. Carroll, Thomas F. Crossley, and John Sabelhaus, editors
We consider that role in-home barcode scanner data could play in national budget surveys. We make detailed comparisons of food and drink expenditures in two British datasets: the Living Costs and Food Survey (the main budget survey) and Kantar Worldpanel scanner data. We find that levels of spending are significantly lower in scanner data, but that patterns of spending across food commodities are much more similar. A large part (but not all) of the levels gap is explained by weeks in which no spending at all is recorded in scanner data; however, demographic differences between the survey samples accentuate rather than close the gap. The period over which households are observed in scanner data changes the distribution of food group budget shares, but not the mean share, suggesting that sho...
|October 2013||The Potential use of In-home Scanner Technology for Budget Surveys|
This paper considers the potential role of in-home scanners as a method of data collection for national budget surveys such as the Consumer Expenditure Survey. A detailed comparison is made between scanner data and diary-based budget survey data for food at home in the UK. Levels of recorded spending are lower in scanner data for all commodities, but patterns of spending are similar. A large part of the difference is explained by households in the scanner survey failing to record any food spending in a given week. The gaps are widened once demographic differences between the surveys are controlled for. There is clear evidence that short-term diaries do not accurately capture household food spending patterns given infrequency of purchase for some commodity groups. Conditional on store choic...
|October 2008||Timing and Quantity of Consumer Purchases and the Consumer Price Index|
with Rachel Griffith, Ephraim Leibtag, Aviv Nevo: w14433
A common approach to measuring price changes is to look at the change of the expenditure needed to purchase a fixed basket of goods. It is well-known that this approach suffers from problems and creates several biases in the measurement of price changes faced by consumers. Substitution and outlet bias, two commonly studied concerns, are both driven by consumer choices of what and where to buy. However, consumers also make other choices, including how much and when to buy. We discuss the implications of consumers' timing and quantity decisions have on standard practices of computing of computing a price index.
We use household-level data on quantities purchased and prices paid to construct a measure of the savings made by consumers' optimizing behaviour in the purchase of food. In particul...
|July 2008||Environmental Taxes|
with Don Fullerton, Stephen Smith: w14197
This chapter provides an overview of key economic issues in the use of taxation as an instrument of environmental policy in the UK. It first reviews economic arguments for using taxes and other market mechanisms in environmental policy, discusses the choice of tax base, and considers the value of the revenue from environmental taxes. It is argued that environmental tax revenues do not significantly alter economic constraints on tax policy, and that environmental taxes need to be justified primarily by the cost-effective achievement of environmental goals. The chapter then assesses key areas where environmental taxes appear to have significant potential -- including taxes on energy used by industry and households, road transport, aviation, and waste. In some of these areas, efficient enviro...
Published: Don Fullerton, Andrew Leicester, and Stephen Smith. "Environmental Taxes" Dimensions of Tax Design. Ed. Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.