Measuring Consumer Expenditures with Payment Diaries

37 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2017

See all articles by Scott D. Schuh

Scott D. Schuh

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston - Research Department

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2018

Abstract

Payment diaries measure consumer expenditures by tracking authorization of payments by instrument (cash, check, debit or credit card, etc.). Three notable results emerge from comparing the 2012 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC) to other estimates of consumer expenditures: (1) DCPC payments are 75% higher than Consumer Expenditure Survey estimates; (2) DCPC consumption estimates are 17% higher than comparable personal consumption expenditure estimates; and (3) DCPC payments roughly equal comparably adjusted National Income and Product Accounts personal disposable income. The DCPC's relative success stems from measuring expenditures aggregated into lumpy payments (“shopping baskets”), relatively low respondent burden, and effective random sampling.

JEL Classification: E21, D12, D14

Suggested Citation

Schuh, Scott, Measuring Consumer Expenditures with Payment Diaries (January 2018). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 56, Issue 1, pp. 13-49, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3079069 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12485

Scott Schuh (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston - Research Department ( email )

600 Atlantic Ave.
Boston, MA 02210
United States
617-973-3941 (Phone)
617-619-7541 (Fax)

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