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Measuring consumer expenditures with payment diaries

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  • Schuh, Scott

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)

Abstract

As the 2012 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC) illustrates, there are advantages to measuring consumer expenditures by tracking the authorization of payments by instrument type (cash, check, debit or credit card, etc.). The main advantages of payment diaries appear to be the following: 1) the ability to measure expenditures by payment instrument aggregated into lumpy purchases (“shopping baskets”), 2) relatively low respondent burden, and 3) effective random sampling. Three notable results emerge from comparing the 2012 DCPC estimates with estimates from other reputable estimates of the current value of consumer expenditures: 1) DCPC payments estimates are 75 percent higher than Consumer Expenditure Survey estimates; 2) DCPC consumption estimates are 17 percent higher than personal consumption expenditures estimates in comparable expenditure categories (about half of the categories are comparable); and 3) DCPC payments roughly equal comparably adjusted national income and product accounts disposable income.

Suggested Citation

  • Schuh, Scott, 2017. "Measuring consumer expenditures with payment diaries," Working Papers 17-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:17-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Samphantharak, Krislert & Schuh, Scott & Townsend, Robert M., 2017. "Integrated household surveys: an assessment of U.S. methods and an innovation," Working Papers 17-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    2. Roy Verbaan & Wilko Bolt & Carin van der Cruijsen, 2017. "Using debit card payments data for nowcasting Dutch household consumption," DNB Working Papers 571, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    payments; consumer expenditures; consumption; income; diary survey;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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