Diagnostics for comparison and combined use of diary and interview data from the U.S. consumer expenditure survey - ARCHIVED

Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 11-522-X19990015686


The U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey uses two instruments, a diary and an in-person interview, to collect data on many categories of consumer expenditures. Consequently, it is important to use these data efficiently to estimate mean expenditures and related parameters. Three options are: (1) use only data from the diary source; (2) Use only data from the interview source; and (3) use generalized least squares, or related methods, to combine the diary and interview data. Historically, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has focused on options (1) and (2) for estimation at the five or six-digit Universal Classification Code level. Evaluation and possible implementation of option (3) depends on several factors, including possible measurement biases in the diary and interview data; the empirical magnitude of these biases, relative to the standard errors of customary mean estimators; and the degree of homogeneity of these biases across strata and periods. This paper reviews some issues related to options (1) through (3); describes a relatively simple generalized least squares method for implementation of option (3); and discussed the need for diagnostics to evaluate the feasibility and relative efficiency of the generalized least squares method.

Issue Number: 1999001
Author(s): Eltinge, J.L.
FormatRelease dateMore information
CD-ROMMarch 2, 2000