Consumer Expenditure Survey, 1985: Interview Survey (ICPSR 8904)
Published: Jan 12, 2006
United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The ongoing Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) provides a continuous flow of information on the buying habits of American consumers and also furnishes data to support periodic revisions of the Consumer Price Index. The Survey consists of two separate components: (1) a quarterly Interview panel survey in which each consumer unit in the sample is interviewed every three months over a 15-month period, and (2) a Diary or recordkeeping survey completed by the sample consumer units for two consecutive one-week periods. The Interview survey was designed to collect data on major items of expense, household characteristics, and income. The expenditures covered by the survey are those which respondents can recall fairly accurately for three months or longer. In general, these expenditures include relatively large purchases, such as those for property, automobiles, and major appliances, or expenditures which occur on a fairly regular basis, such as rent, utilities, or insurance premiums. Expenditures incurred while on trips are also covered by the survey. Excluded are nonprescription drugs, household supplies, and personal care items. Including global estimates on spending for food, it is estimated that about 90 to 95 percent of expenditures are covered in the Interview survey.
Data Collection Notes
The codebook for this collection is machine-readable only. Due to changes in the sample design introduced beginning in November 1985, users will not be able to link consumer units by the identification number (NEWID) between the 1985 tape and the 1986 tape when it becomes available. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that users should use the 1984 and 1985 tapes or the 1986 and 1987 tapes (when available) for any micro-level longitudinal analysis. Since release of the 1984 Interview tape, four summary food variables and a variable (JFDSTMPA) containing food stamp values have been added to the end of the FMLY files. The Consumer Unit Characteristics and Income (FMLY) files in this collection contain consumer unit characteristics, consumer unit income, and characteristics and earnings of both the reference person and the spouse. Summary expenditure data are also provided. The Member Characteristics and Income (MEMB) files present selected characteristics for each consumer unit member, including reference person and spouse. Each record in the FMLY and MEMB files consists of three months of data. Detailed Expenditures (MTAB) files provide monthly data at the Universal Classification Code (UCC) level. In these files expenditures for each consumer unit are classified according to UCC categories and are specified as gifts or non-gifts. There may be more than one record for a UCC in a single month if that is what was reported to the interviewer. The Income (ITAB) files supply monthly data at the UCC level for consumer unit characteristics and income. Parts 21 through 25 of the collection offer consumer durables information for the following topics: household appliance purchases, inventory of appliances, vehicle inventory and purchases, vehicle disposals, and trip characteristics and expenses. Parts 26 and 27 are files designed for use with the printed publications based on these data.
The CES is based on a national probability sample of households. The sampling frame was generated from the 1970 Census 100 percent detail file, augmented by new construction permits and coverage improvement techniques used to eliminate recognized deficiencies in that census. The sample design is a rotating panel survey in which one-fifth of the sample is dropped and a new group added each quarter. Each panel is interviewed for five consecutive quarters and then dropped from the survey.
Total civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States.
Original Release Date
2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 31 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.
2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 30 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.
Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.
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