Working Paper

Comparing Micro and Macro Sources for Household Accounts in the United States: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances

Abstract: 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;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)

Part of Series: Finance and Economics Discussion Series

Publication Date: 2015-06-25

Number: 2015-86

Pages: 67 pages