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The Construction of U.S. Consumption Data: Some Facts and Their Implications for Empirical Work

David Wilcox ()

American Economic Review, 1992, vol. 82, issue 4, 922-41

Abstract: This paper investigates the sources and methods used to construct the aggregate data on consumer spending in the United States, searching especially for imperfections that may have implications for the outcome of empirical work. The paper identifies two such imperfections: sampling error and compositional error. It then presents several examples intended to illustrate that these imperfections may be empirically important and that appropriate remedies for them often can be devised. The paper concludes by suggesting some guidelines of empirical practice. Copyright 1992 by American Economic Association.

Date: 1992
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