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Estimating household consumption expenditures in the United States using the Interview and Diary portions of the 1980, 1990, and 1997 Consumer Expenditure Surveys

By John Schmitt


This paper summarizes household-expenditure patterns in the United States based on the 1980, 1990, and 1997 Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CEX). The CEX data used in the analysis have been organized to make them as comparable as possible to data extracted from corresponding expenditure surveys in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The paper first discusses the structure and some of the relevant limitations of the CEX survey; next provides a description of the procedures used to make the data compatible with other national expenditure surveys; and, finally, reviews some of the expenditure patterns in the resulting data. The paper is part of a broader international project ("Demand Patterns and Employment Growth" or DEMPATEM), which seeks to analyse the impact of international differences in the consumption of services on national employment outcomes.

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  5. (2003). Household Demand Patterns in France 1980-1995," Maison des Sciences Economiques,
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  8. (2003). Household Expenditures Patterns in the United Kingdom: DEMPATEM Project," Institute for Fiscal Studies,
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