Catalog of Holdings

Study Report

Study Number: CA-037-005-1-1-United States-ICPSR-1947

Subject Area: Economic Attitudes and Behavior

Bibliographic Citation: Survey of consumer finances, 1947-1971.  [machine-readable data file] / University of Michigan. Survey Research Center  [principal investigator(s)] / Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research  [distributor].

Originating Archive Number: 3615

Comments: Each of the years 1947-1971 has been assigned an individual ICPSR study number. When they were first received, they were treated as a single study by DPLS. This study was classified as CA-007-002 before. In 11/94 this study number was changed to CA-037-005 to be with all the Surveys of consumer finances.

Access Status: Access limited to UW-Madison campus

Documentation: Hard copy codebook, 27 volumes.

Abstract: A Survey of Consumer Finances was conducted annually from 1946 through 1971. The major focus of these surveys is toward the collection of statistics on the distribution of consumer income, assets, debt, and major transactions. Interviewing was done in January-March of each year with questions covering ownership of assets and financial balances, source, purpose and amount of debt, including installment debt, and amount, earners, source of current income, and previous year's income. Also explored are attitudes toward the respondent's personal financial situation, toward general economic conditions and prices, and expectations for the coming year. Information was sought about current and planned expenditures for housing, automobiles, and major durables. Personal characteristics reported include age and education of head, household composition, and occupation. During the mid-1960's it became evident that the increase in car ownership was having a marked influence on the lives of American families. In order to could be analyzed on either a family- or car-unit basis. Data on a family-unit basis have a logical record for each family, with car information only for the first (usually the newest) car owned, data on a car-unit basis have a logical record for every car owned by the family. By using a global filter, users can also analyze car-unit data on a family-unit basis. Samples for the surveys were made up of a national cross-section of dwelling units representing the total population of the United States. In the early years the interviewing unit was the spending unit, but in 1964 it was changed to the family unit. The number of spending or family units interviewed was usually between 2,000 and 3,000, and normally a different group of respondents was drawn for each survey. For a discussion of the data, see Federal Reserve Board, Reports on the Surveys of Consumer Finances, Federal Reserve Bulletin, 1947-1959, and publications of the principal investigators: George Katona, Eleanor Maccoby, Janet Austrian Janosi, Harold Guthrie, Eva Mueller, and Lawrence R. Klein. General reports of the data from the Surveys of Consumer Finances appear in the publications.

Media/File Reports:

ICPSR Direct