Comparing Micro and Macro Sources for Household Accounts in the United States: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances
69 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2015
Date Written: June 5, 2015
Household income, spending, and net worth are key inputs in macroeconomic forecasting and economic research. Macro-level data sources are often used to measure household accounts, but lack important information about heterogeneity across different types of households that can be found in micro-level data sources. This paper compares aggregates computed based on one micro-level data source — the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) — with macro-level sources of information on household accounts. We find that on most measures, aggregates computed from the SCF line up well with macro-level data sources once we construct comparable series. Our results imply that researchers and policy makers can be confident in making macroeconomic inferences from household-level surveys like the SCF.
Keywords: Income, Spending, Survey of Consumer Finances, Wealth
JEL Classification: D14, D31, E21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation