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April 2012, Vol. 135, No. 4
No longer tax exempt: income tax calculation in the Consumer Expenditure Survey
Aylin Kumcu is currently an agricultural economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service and formerly worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of USDA. Email: email@example.com.
BLS has developed an experimental federal income tax calculator that estimates taxes for Consumer Expenditure Survey participants to help address high nonresponse rates, unreliable reporting, and time-frame ambiguity; this calculator could improve the quality of the aftertax income data in the survey
The primary aim of the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) is to record the expenditure behavior of American households. The CE program conducts two surveys that collect data on the expenditures, income, and characteristics of consumer units: the Diary Survey and the Quarterly Interview Survey. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes the results of these surveys at the aggregate level, and the microdata are studied by a wide variety of users. One of the main users of CE data is the Consumer Price Index, which employs the data to update the cost weights for its market basket of goods and to calculate the relative importance of these aggregate goods. CE data also are widely used by other government agencies, academia, and members of the public for research, policymaking, and other purposes, because the CE survey is one of the sole sources of high-quality, sample-based U.S. data that links expenditures and income at the household level.
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Consumer Expenditure Survey
Impact of income imputation in the Consumer Expenditure Survey, The.–Aug. 2009.
Income imputation and the analysis of consumer expenditure data.–Nov. 2006.
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