Discovering the Universe: Measuring the Role of Finance Companies in the U.S. Economy

38 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2013

See all articles by Lisa Chen

Lisa Chen

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Kathleen Johnson

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve - Division of Research and Statistics

Arthur B. Kennickell

Federal Reserve Board - Department of Research & Statistics

Date Written: January 28, 2013

Abstract

Credit to consumers and business is critical to the efficient functioning of the U.S. economy, and finance companies are a key source of such credit. Every five years, the Federal Reserve conducts a two-part survey: the Census of Finance Companies (CFC) to identify the universe of such firms and the Survey of Finance Companies (SFC) to obtain balance-sheet data from firms identified in the CFC. In 2010, this survey underwent a major revision that addressed both the absence of a comprehensive list frame and low response rates. A follow-up study of nonrespondents to the CFC was conducted to obtain information on the operating status of the unobserved firms, and their status as a finance company under the definitions of the CFC. An important complication was the presence of complicated tangles of firms within a corporate hierarchy, whereas the CFC intended to include the consolidated assets of the highest-level parent finance company in such a hierarchy; the follow-up was design ed to provide information to estimate the extent of such relationships in the initial sample data. This paper describes the way the CFC and the follow-up were used to construct an estimate of the universe of finance companies.

Keywords: Survey redesign, coverage error, frame error, non-response error, population estimation

JEL Classification: C81, C83, C13

Suggested Citation

Chen, Lisa and Johnson, Kathleen and Kennickell, Arthur B., Discovering the Universe: Measuring the Role of Finance Companies in the U.S. Economy (January 28, 2013). FEDS Working Paper No. 2013-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2245632 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2245632

Lisa Chen (Contact Author)

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ( email )

20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

Kathleen Johnson

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve - Division of Research and Statistics ( email )

20th and C Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

Arthur B. Kennickell

Federal Reserve Board - Department of Research & Statistics ( email )

20th & C. St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20551
United States
202-452-2247 (Phone)
202-452-5295 (Fax)

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