Analysis of wealth using micro and macro data: a comparison of the Survey of Consumer Finances and Flow of Funds Accounts
AbstractResearchers use different types of household balance sheet data to study different aspects of lifecycle saving and wealth accumulation behavior. Macro data from the Flow of Funds Accounts (FFA) are produced at a quarterly frequency and are available in a timely manner, but they can only be used to study the behavior of the household sector as a whole. Micro data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) are available every three years and only with a lag, but they can be used to address questions that involve differences in behavior over time and across various types of households. Despite the very different approaches to estimating household net worth, the two data sets show the same general patterns wealth changes over the past twenty-five years. Areas where the FFA and SCF diverge in aggregate levels—in categories such as owner-occupied housing, noncorporate equity, and credit cards—may be explained by methodological decisions applied in the production of the data. Those differences do not fundamentally alter one's perception of household wealth dynamics in the period leading up to and following the Great Recession.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2013-46.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-08-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-HME-2013-08-05 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
- NEP-MAC-2013-08-05 (Macroeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jonathan Zinman, 2009.
"Where Is The Missing Credit Card Debt? Clues And Implications,"
Review of Income and Wealth,
International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(2), pages 249-265, 06.
- Jonathan Zinman, 2007. "Where is the missing credit card debt? Clues and implications," Payment Cards Center Discussion Paper 07-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Edward Nathan Wolff, 2011. "Recent Trends in Household Wealth, 1983-2009: The Irresistible Rise of Household Debt," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 2(1).
- Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Recent Trends in the Size Distribution of Household Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
- Goodman, John Jr. & Ittner, John B., 1992. "The accuracy of home owners' estimates of house value," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 339-357, December.
- Donghoon Lee & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2010. "An introduction to the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel," Staff Reports 479, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Meta Brown & Andrew Haughwout & Donghoon Lee & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2011. "Do we know what we owe? A comparison of borrower- and lender-reported consumer debt," Staff Reports 523, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1995.
"Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts,"
Department of Economics Working Papers
1995-02, McMaster University.
- Robert E. Lipsey & Helen Stone Tice, 1989. "The Measurement of Saving, Investment, and Wealth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lips89-1, July.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kris Vajs).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.