Survey of Consumer Finances Series RSS

Investigator(s): Economic Behavior Program, Survey Research Center, University of Michigan

Surveys of Consumer Finances were conducted annually from 1946 through 1971. The survey was again administered in 1977, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1992, 1995, and 1998, and is expected to be updated on a triennial basis. The major focus of these surveys is the collection of statistics on the distribution of consumer income, assets, debt, and major transactions. Interviewing is conducted in January-August of each year with questions covering (1) ownership of assets and financial balances, (2) source, purpose, and amount of debt, including installment debt, and (3) wage earners, and amount and source of current income, as well as previous year's income. Also explored are respondents' attitudes toward their personal financial situations and toward general economic conditions and prices, and respondents' expectations for the coming year. Information is sought on current and planned expenditures for housing, automobiles, and major durables. Personal characteristics reported include age and education of head of household, household composition, and occupation. Samples for the surveys are made up of a national cross-section of dwelling units representing the total population of the United States. In the early years the interviewing unit was the spending unit, but in 1964 it was changed to the family unit. Several financial innovations were instituted through the years, including the introduction of new financial instruments such as money market funds and the deregulation of financial markets. To assess the effects of these changes on the financial positions and behaviors of households, seven governmental agencies joined together to sponsor the 1983 Survey of Consumer Finances. For a discussion of the data, see the Federal Reserve Board, "Reports on the Surveys of Consumer Finances," FEDERAL RESERVE BULLETIN, and publications of the principal investigators. General reports of the data from the Surveys of Consumer Finances appear in these publications.

Most Recent Studies

Related Publications

Most Recent Publications

2009
Bostic, Raphael,  Gabriel, Stuart,  Painter, Gary . Housing wealth, financial wealth, and consumption: New evidence from micro data. Regional Science and Urban Economics. 39, (1), 79-89.
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2009
Zinman, Jonathan . Debit or credit? . Journal of Banking and Finance. 33, (2), 358-366.
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2004
Bosworth, Barry . Why Don't Americans Save?. CRR WP 2004-25, Chestnut Hill, MA: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
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2004
Brown, Jeffrey R.,  Poterba, James M. Household Demand for Variable Annuities. CRR WP 2004-08, Chestnut Hill, MA: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
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2004
Dynan, Karen E.,  Skinner, Jonathan,  Zeldes, Stephen P. Do the rich save more?. Journal of Political Economy. 112, (2), 397-444.
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2002
Avery, Robert B.,  Rendall, Michael S. Lifetime inheritances of three generations of whites and blacks. American Journal of Sociology. 107, (5), 1300-1346.
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2000
Dynan, Karen E.,  Skinner, Jonathan,  Zeldes, Stephen P. Do the Rich Save More?. NBER Working Paper Series. 7906, National Bureau of Economic Research.
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2000
Engen, Eric M.,  Gale, William G.,  Uccello, Cori E. The Adequacy of Household Saving. CRR WP 2000-01, Chestnut Hill, MA: Center for Retirment Research at Boston College.
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2000
Uccello, Cori, E. 401(K) Investment Decisions and Social Security Reform. CRR WP 2000-04, Chestnut Hill, MA: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
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