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Rotation group bias in reporting of household purchases in the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey


  • Bach, Ruben L.
  • Eckman, Stephanie


We find rotation group bias in reports of spending in the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey. Contrary to our expectations, the more waves respondents complete, the higher the quality of their responses. Respondents become more likely to report the amount of money spent on purchases and less likely to report rounded amounts. There is no change over waves in the number of purchases reported or the average amount of money spent on the purchases.

Suggested Citation

  • Bach, Ruben L. & Eckman, Stephanie, 2020. "Rotation group bias in reporting of household purchases in the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:187:y:2020:i:c:s0165176519304483
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2019.108889

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ruben L. Bach & Stephanie Eckman, 2019. "Participating in a panel survey changes respondents’ labour market behaviour," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 182(1), pages 263-281, January.
    2. Alan B. Krueger & Alexandre Mas & Xiaotong Niu, 2017. "The Evolution of Rotation Group Bias: Will the Real Unemployment Rate Please Stand Up?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(2), pages 258-264, May.
    3. Hirsch, Barry T. & Winters, John V., 2016. "Rotation group bias in measures of multiple job holding," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 160-163.
    4. Andrew Halpern-Manners & John Warren, 2012. "Panel Conditioning in Longitudinal Studies: Evidence From Labor Force Items in the Current Population Survey," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(4), pages 1499-1519, November.
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    More about this item


    Consumer expenditure; Rotation group bias; Misreports; U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey;

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis


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