Catalog of Holdings

Study Report

Study Number: CA-003-019-1-1-United States-ICPSR-1986

Subject Area: Economic Attitudes and Behavior

Bibliographic Citation: Consumer expenditure survey, 1986: interview survey.  [machine-readable data file] / U.S. Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics  [principal investigator(s)] / Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research  [distributor].

Originating Archive Number: 9113

Access Status: Access limited to UW-Madison campus

Documentation: Codebook is machine-readable only and is also available on microfiche.

Abstract: The ongoing Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) provides a continuous flow of information on the buying habits of American consumers and also furnishes data to support periodic revisions of the Consumer Price Index. The survey consists of two separate components: (1) a quarterly Interview panel survey in which each consumer unit in the sample is interviewed every three months over a 15-month period, and (2) a Diary or recordkeeping survey completed by the sample consumer units for two consecutive one-week periods. The Interview survey was designed to collect data on major items of expense, household characteristics, and income. The expenditures covered by the survey are those that respondents can recall fairly accurately for three months or longer. In general, these expenditures include relatively large purchases, such as those for property, automobiles, and major appliances, or expenditures that occur on a fairly regular basis, such as rent, utilities, or insurance premiums. Expenditures incurred while on trips are also covered by the survey. Excluded are nonprescription drugs, household supplies, and personal care items. Including global estimates on spending for food, it is estimated that about 90 to 95 percent of expenditures are covered in the Interview survey.

SOURCE: personal interviews

UNIVERSE: Total civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States

SAMPLE: The CES is based on a national probability sample of households. Households are selected from primary sampling units (PSUs), which consist of counties (or parts thereof), groups of counties, or independent cities. The set of sample PSU's used for the survey is composed of 109 areas, of which 91 urban areas have also been selected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the Consumer Price Index program. The sampling frame from which housing units were selected was generated from the 1980 Census 100 percent detail file, augmented by new construction permits and coverage improvement techniques used to eliminate recognized deficiencies in that census. The sample design is a rotating panel survey in which one-fifth of the sample is dropped and a new group added each quarter. Each panel is interviewed for five consecutive quarters and then dropped from the survey.

NOTE: The codebook for this collection is machine-readable only. Due to changes in the sample design introduced beginning in November 1985, users will not be able to link consumer units by the identification number (NEWID) between the 1985 tape and the 1986 tape. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that users should use the 1984 and 1985 tapes or the 1986 and 1987 tapes (when available) for any micro-level longitudinal analysis. Users of 1985 tapes should be aware that 1986 first quarter data on the 1985 tape are from the old sample design, while 1986 first quarter data on the 1986 tape are from the new sample design. Consequently, the data are not the same. Users of pre-1986 tapes should also be aware that files have been re-alphabetized in the 1986 files, with the result that variable positions for 1986 will be different from those in previous years. Several variables have been added since the release of the 1985 tape. MEDICOV, an indicator variable, has been added to the MEMB file. This variable has a value of ''1'' if Social Security deductions cover only Medicare and ''0'' otherwise. The variables ALIMOX and CHLDSUPX have been added to the FMLY file. They contain values for alimony and child support payments, respectively. The Consumer Unit Characteristics and Income (FMLY) files in this collection contain consumer unit characteristics, consumer unit income, and characteristics and earnings of both the reference person and the spouse. Summary expenditure data are also provided. The Member Characteristics and Income (MEMB) files present selected characteristics for each consumer unit member, including reference person and spouse. Each record in the FMLY and MEMB files consists of three months of data. Detailed Expenditures (MTAB) files provide monthly data at the Universal Classification Code (UCC) level. In these files expenditures for each consumer unit are classified according to UCC categories and are specified as gifts or nongifts. There may be more than one record for a UCC in a single month if that is what was reported to the interviewer. The Income (ITAB) files supply monthly data at the UCC level for consumer unit characteristics and income. Parts 21 through 25 of the collection offer consumer durables information for the following topics: household appliance purchases, inventory of appliances, vehicle inventory and purchases, vehicle disposals, and trip characteristics and expenses. Parts 26 and 27 are files designed for use with the printed publications based on these data.

EXTENT OF COLLECTION: 25 data files + machine-readable documentation.

DATA TYPE: survey data


TIME PERIOD: 1986 and the first quarter of 1987


United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. ''Consumer Expenditure Survey: Interview Survey, 1984'' (Bulletin 2267). Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1986. United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. ''Consumer Expenditure Survey: Interview Survey, 1982-1983'' (Bulletin 2246). Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1986.

Media/File Reports:

ICPSR Direct