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Investigating the Use of Administrative Records in the Consumer Expenditure Survey

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Listed:
  • Quentin Brummet
  • Denise Flanagan-Doyle
  • Joshua Mitchell
  • John Voorheis
  • Laura Erhard
  • Brett McBride

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the potential of applying administrative records income data to the Consumer Expenditure (CE) survey to inform measurement error properties of CE estimates, supplement respondent-collected data, and estimate the representativeness of the CE survey by income level. We match individual responses to Consumer Expenditure Quarterly Interview Survey data collected from July 2013 through December 2014 to IRS administrative data in order to analyze CE questions on wages, social security payroll deductions, self-employment income receipt and retirement income. We find that while wage amounts are largely in alignment between the CE and administrative records in the middle of the wage distribution, there is evidence that wages are over-reported to the CE at the bottom of the wage distribution and under-reported at the top of the wage distribution. We find mixed evidence for alignment between the CE and administrative records on questions covering payroll deductions and self-employment income receipt, but find substantial divergence between CE responses and administrative records when examining retirement income. In addition to the analysis using person-based linkages, we also match responding and non-responding CE sample units to the universe of IRS 1040 tax returns by address to examine non-response bias. We find that non-responding households are substantially richer than responding households, and that very high income households are less likely to respond to the CE.

Suggested Citation

  • Quentin Brummet & Denise Flanagan-Doyle & Joshua Mitchell & John Voorheis & Laura Erhard & Brett McBride, 2018. "Investigating the Use of Administrative Records in the Consumer Expenditure Survey," CARRA Working Papers 2018-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:cpaper:2018-01
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    File URL: https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/working-papers/2018/adrm/carra-wp-2018-01.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2018
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Deborah Wagner & Mary Lane, 2014. "The Person Identification Validation System (PVS): Applying the Center for Administrative Records Research and Applications’ (CARRA) Record Linkage Software," CARRA Working Papers 2014-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. C. Adam Bee & Joshua Mitchell, 2017. "The Hidden Resources of Women Working Longer: Evidence from Linked Survey-Administrative Data," NBER Chapters, in: Women Working Longer: Increased Employment at Older Ages, pages 269-296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kevin Rinz & John Voorheis, 2018. "The Distributional Effects of Minimum Wages: Evidence from Linked Survey and Administrative Data," CARRA Working Papers 2018-02, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Bruce D. Meyer & Nikolas Mittag, 2019. "Combining Administrative and Survey Data to Improve Income Measurement," NBER Working Papers 25738, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Meyer, Bruce D. & Mittag, Nikolas, 2019. "Combining Administrative and Survey Data to Improve Income Measurement," IZA Discussion Papers 12266, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Joshua D. Gottlieb & Maria Polyakova & Kevin Rinz & Hugh Shiplett & Victoria Udalova, 2020. "Who Values Human Capitalists' Human Capital? Healthcare Spending and Physician Earnings," Working Papers 20-23, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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