Survey of Consumer Finances, 1986 (ICPSR 9753)

Published: Jan 18, 2006

Principal Investigator(s):
University of Michigan. Survey Research Center. Economic Behavior Program; Robert B. Avery; Arthur B. Kennickell; Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System


Version V1

This is the second in a series of triennial Surveys of Consumer Finances begun in 1983. Surveys of Consumer Finances were conducted annually from 1946 through 1971 and again in 1977. The 1986 survey was designed primarily to update essential information such as household balance sheet and employment data for family units in the sample. Limited information was solicited on the disposition of assets, purchase and sale of homes, and major expenditures for health, durables, charity, and education. Data were also collected to compute savings for the sample households over the period 1983-1986. In addition, the 1986 survey added new lines of inquiry to explore the broad role of the family in economic behavior. Substantial new information was collected on gifts made or received by the household. Data were also gathered on the sharing of living quarters over the previous three years. Information on income and on marital and employment history for those three years was recorded as well.

University of Michigan. Survey Research Center. Economic Behavior Program, Avery, Robert B., Kennickell, Arthur B., and Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Survey of Consumer Finances, 1986. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-01-18.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services

United States Department of the Treasury. Office of Tax Analysis

Federal Trade Commission

United States Department of Labor

United States Department of the Treasury. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

1985 -- 1986

1986-06 -- 1986-09

Data for this collection exist in two versions: raw data prepared by the University of Michigan's Survey Research Center, and recoded data prepared by the Federal Reserve Board. The latter file was produced by the Federal Reserve Board using a series of consistency checks and imputation procedures to edit the raw data and estimate values for missing data. Additional weights were constructed and included in the recoded data file. New variables were also constructed directly from original variables and, in addition, were created by matching information from other sources such as the United States Census. Users should be aware that some values given in the documentation do not coincide with those derived from the data. Those known to ICPSR are contained in the Federal Reserve Board recoded data section entitled "Calculated Relative Real Wage Growth Variables" (C1822 to C1830 and C1922 to C1930). The Federal Reserve Board affirms that the data values are correct but that no additional documentation is available. The first four variables in the recoded data are undocumented ID variables. The SAS and SPSS Control Cards provided with this collection are incomplete. Only SAS Input Statements and SPSS Data Lists are supplied.

The total survey sample of 4,103 households was drawn from the completed interviews of the SURVEY OF CONSUMER FINANCES, 1983 (ICPSR 9751). The sample included a supplemental sample of high-income households drawn from 1980 Federal Income Tax returns created by the Statistics of Income Division of the Internal Revenue Service. When couples from the 1983 survey divorced or separated, the survey followed both parties. However, other members who left the household, such as young adults, were not followed. A net total of 2,822 reinterviews were completed. The same questionnaire was used for both subsets of respondents.

National cross-section of dwelling units (exclusive of institutional quarters) representing the total population of the 48 contiguous United States.

telephone interviews

survey data



2006-01-18 File CB9753.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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