Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2006423
 
 

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Judging the Quality of Survey Data by Comparison with 'Truth' as Measured by Administrative Records: Evidence from Sweden


Ralph S. J. Koijen


London Business School - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh


New York University Stern School of Business, Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Roine Vestman


Stockholm University - Department of Economics; Stockholm Institute for Financial Research (SIFR)

March 8, 2013

Chapter in NBER Book Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures, Christopher Carroll, Thomas Crossley, John Sabelhaus, eds., Forthcoming
NBER Book Series Studies in Income and Wealth, University of Chicago Press, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
We construct a new consumption measure as a residual from the budget constraint. Consumption is that part of income that is not used to increase assets. Our measurement relies on detailed Swedish registry data on the various sources of income and the composition of households' asset portfolio, collected as part of the tax assessment process. The richness of the data allow us to impute a household-specific portfolio return, which is important to arrive at an accurate consumption measure with our method. We match the Swedish households that are surveyed with a standard European Household Budget Survey to our data set, allowing a detailed comparison of the two consumption measures. We find that the survey-based measures understate consumption for home-owners, high-income, and high-wealth households. Survey-based consumption appears unbiased for the average renter and, if anything, slightly understates consumption for the youngest and poorest in our sample. Taken together, the survey understates consumption inequality. Separately, Swedish car registry data on car transactions indicate severe reporting biases in the survey.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

Keywords: Consumption measurement, consumption inequality, measurement error, surveys, household finance

JEL Classification: D12, D14, D31, E21, G11

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Date posted: February 22, 2012 ; Last revised: January 26, 2014

Suggested Citation

Koijen, Ralph S. J. and Van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn and Vestman, Roine, Judging the Quality of Survey Data by Comparison with 'Truth' as Measured by Administrative Records: Evidence from Sweden (March 8, 2013). Chapter in NBER Book Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures, Christopher Carroll, Thomas Crossley, John Sabelhaus, eds., Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2006423 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2006423

Contact Information

Ralph S. J. Koijen
London Business School - Department of Finance ( email )
Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh (Contact Author)
New York University Stern School of Business, Department of Finance ( email )
44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-190
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Roine Vestman
Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )
S-10691 Stockholm
Sweden
Stockholm Institute for Financial Research (SIFR) ( email )
Drottninggatan 89
SE-113 59 Stockholm, SE-113 60
Sweden
HOME PAGE: http://www.sifr.org
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