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What really happened to consumption inequality in the US?

Attanasio, O.; Battistin, E.; Ichimura, H.; (2004) What really happened to consumption inequality in the US? (NBER Working Papers 10338). National Bureau of Economic Research: Cambridge, US. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper considers data quality issues for the analysis of consumption inequality exploiting two complementary datasets from the Consumer Expenditure Survey for the United States. The Interview sample follows survey households over four calendar quarters and consists of retrospectively collected information about monthly expenditures on durable and non-durable goods. The Diary sample interviews household for two consecutive weeks and includes detailed information about frequently purchased items (food, personal cares and household supplies). Most reliable information from each sample is exploited to derive a correction for the measurement error affecting observed measures of consumption inequality in the two surveys. We find that consumption inequality, as measured by the standard deviation of log non-durable consumption, has increased by roughly 5% points during the 1990s.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: What really happened to consumption inequality in the US?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10338
Language: English
Keywords: JEL classification: E21, E26
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/15166
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