Cost of Living Survey Series

Investigator(s): United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Cost of Living Survey series was created by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with the goal of estimating the cost of living of a "typical" American family. ICPSR's holdings of such surveys conducted periodically by the Bureau since 1888 consist of: COST OF LIVING OF INDUSTRIAL WORKERS IN THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE, 1888-1890 (ICPSR 7711), COST OF LIVING IN THE UNITED STATES, 1917-1919 (ICPSR 8299), and STUDY OF CONSUMER PURCHASES IN THE UNITED STATES, 1935-1936 (ICPSR 8908). The original survey materials from the second of such investigation, conducted in 1901, were deemed to have been destroyed several years ago. A total of 12,817 families of wage earners or salaried workers in industrial locales were originally interviewed in 99 cities throughout the United States. A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities provided ICPSR with funds to convert to computer-readable form the original completed questionnaires housed in the National Archives of the United States. The data include a rich array of information about the income and expenses of the families surveyed, as well as basic demographic characteristics of each of the members of the families or households studied, selected to represent the urban working class of the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics began a similar survey series in 1941 titled, Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Data in the Series

Related Publications

Most Recent Publications

2016
Hausman, Joshua K. Fiscal policy and economic recovery: The case of the 1936 Veterans' Bonus. American Economic Review. 106, (4), 1100-1143.
Full Text Options: DOI Worldcat Google Scholar
Export Options: RIS/EndNote
2015
Biolsi, Christopher . Essays on State Dependence in the Government Spending Multiplier. Dissertation, University of Houston.
Export Options: RIS/EndNote
2015
Ferrie, Joseph P.,  Rolf, Karen,  Troesken, Werner . Lead exposure and the perpetuation of low socioeconomic status. 2015 Annual Meeting of the Allied Social Science Associations. Boston, MA.
Full Text Options: PDF
Export Options: RIS/EndNote
2015
Hansen, Mary Eschelbach . Sources of credit and the extent of the credit market: A view of bankruptcy records in Mississippi, 1929-1936. Enterprising America: Businesses, Banks, and Credit Markets in Historical Perspective. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Export Options: RIS/EndNote
2015
Niemesh, Gregory T. Ironing out deficiencies: Evidence from the United States on the economic effects of iron deficiency. Journal of Human Resources. 50, 910-958.
Full Text Options: DOI Worldcat Google Scholar
Export Options: RIS/EndNote
2014
Collins, William J.,  Wanamaker, Marianne H. Selection and economic gains in the great migration of African Americans: New evidence from linked census data. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. 6, (1), 220-252.
Full Text Options: DOI Worldcat Google Scholar
Export Options: RIS/EndNote
2013
Hausman, Joshua Kautsky . New Deal Policies and Recovery from the Great Depression. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.
Export Options: RIS/EndNote
2012
Ferrie, Joseph P.,  Rolf, Karen,  Troesken, Werner . Cognitive disparities, lead plumbing, and water chemistry: Prior exposure to water-borne lead and intelligence test scores among World War Two U.S. Army enlistees. Economics and Human Biology. 10, (1), 98-111.
Full Text Options: DOI Worldcat Google Scholar
Export Options: RIS/EndNote
2010
Lockhart, Charles,  Giles-Sims, Jean,  Camp, Bayliss . States' senior residential property tax abatements: Uncontroversial benefit or looming but unrecognized problem?. Politics and Policy. 38, (4), 677-704.
Full Text Options: Worldcat Google Scholar
Export Options: RIS/EndNote
2004
Hargis, Peggy G.,  Horan, Patrick M. Bounded by Culture or Culture Bound: Ethnicity, Schooling, and the Interplay of Theory and Evidence. Historical Methods. 37, (1), 23-33.
Full Text Options: DOI Worldcat Google Scholar
Export Options: RIS/EndNote

Variables