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Micro vs. macro consumption data : the cyclical properties of the consumer expenditure survey

Author

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  • Campos, Rodolfo G.
  • Reggio, Iliana
  • García-Píriz, Dionisio

Abstract

The Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX) offers the most comprehensive consumption data at the consumer level for the United States. Several previous studies have shown a large gap between per-capita consumption from the CEX and the aggregate Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) series. While previous research has focused on consumption levels, we focus on the cyclical properties of consumption. We find that the cyclical properties of consumption expenditure data from the two sources are quantitatively very different. This result calls for caution when using CEX data for business cycle research.

Suggested Citation

  • Campos, Rodolfo G. & Reggio, Iliana & García-Píriz, Dionisio, 2012. "Micro vs. macro consumption data : the cyclical properties of the consumer expenditure survey," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1220, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1220
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Primiceri, Giorgio E. & van Rens, Thijs, 2009. "Heterogeneous life-cycle profiles, income risk and consumption inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 20-39, January.
    2. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Quantitative Macroeconomics with Heterogeneous Households," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 319-354, May.
    3. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2009. "Labor Supply Heterogeneity and Macroeconomic Co-movement," NBER Working Papers 15561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States: 1967-2006," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 15-51, January.
    5. Richard Blundell & Luigi Pistaferri & Ian Preston, 2008. "Consumption Inequality and Partial Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1887-1921, December.
    6. Erich Battistin & Mario Padula, 2016. "Survey instruments and the reports of consumption expenditures: evidence from the consumer expenditure surveys," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 179(2), pages 559-581, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumption;

    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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