Changes in U.S. family finances from 2004 to 2007: evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances
The Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances for 2007 provides insights into changes in family income and net worth since the 2004 survey. The survey shows that, over the 2004-07 period, the median value of real (inflation-adjusted) family income before taxes was little changed, while mean income climbed 8.5 percent. Unlike family income over this period, both median and mean net worth increased; the median rose 17.7 percent, and the mean rose 13.0 percent. This article reviews these and other changes in the financial condition of U.S. families, including developments in assets, ...
Studying consumption with the Panel Study of Income Dynamics: comparisons with the Consumer Expenditure Survey and an application to the intergenerational transmission of well-being
Beginning in 1999, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) added new questions about several categories of consumption expenditure. The PSID now covers items that constitute more than seventy percent of total expenditure measured in the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE). We show that expenditure for each of the broad categories in the PSID aligns closely with corresponding measures from the CE. Using the new PSID data, we impute total expenditure in the PSID and show that this is also very close to total measured CE expenditure. For several distinct categories and for total consumption, we ...
Expectations of inflation: the biasing effect of thoughts about specific prices
National surveys follow consumers' expectations of future inflation, because they may directly affect the economic choices they make, indirectly affect macroeconomic outcomes, and be considered in monetary policy. Yet relatively little is known about how individuals form the inflation expectations they report on consumer surveys. Medians of reported inflation expectations tend to track official estimates of realized inflation, but show large disagreement between respondents, due to some expecting seemingly extreme inflation. We present two studies to examine whether individuals who consider ...