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Consumer Expenditure Surveys

Call for Presenters:

Consumption Symposium: Broadening Our Understanding of Household Consumption and Measurement, September 22-23, 2021

Proposals Due: August 2, 2021

The BLS will host a free one-day virtual symposium on consumption measurement on September 22nd and 23rd, 2021. BLS is in the early stages of developing a consumer unit (CU) level consumption measure, and is hosting this symposium to gather researchers to discuss possible approaches that it can use. The CE will serve as the basis of this measure, contributing primarily data on expenditures and rental equivalence from owner occupied housing. However, these data alone are not adequate to measure all consumption. Symposium topics are expected to include:

  • Theoretical approaches to consumption measurement
  • International recommendations, standards, best practices
  • Data sources and data gaps
  • Measurement of consumption from health insurance, durable goods, government-provided in-kind benefits, employer benefits, and home production
  • Integrating data from the CE and other household surveys (e.g., American Time Use Survey)
  • Integrating CE and administrative data
  • Consumption measurement in the National Accounts
  • Other topics in consumption measurement

We invite interested presenters to submit a presentation proposal; see below for details. Work in progress and finished research are welcome. While all topics will be considered, preference will be given to work on measurement approaches that the BLS could use to develop an official consumption measure.

If you have a colleague who might be interested in presenting, we would appreciate your forwarding this invitation.

Questions? Contact us at


Please submit an extended abstract of around 600 words or a completed paper to by August 2, 2021. In the proposal, also include the following:

  1. Name(s), affiliation(s), and e-mail address(es) of presenter(s)
  2. Presentation availability (note times when you cannot attend, or when you prefer to present)
  3. Permission to include the name of your presentation and contact information in a handout for distribution to symposium participants*
  4. Permission to share presentation with other presenters in advance of the symposium*
  5. Permission to post accepted presentation on the BLS website*

*choosing to "opt out" will not affect consideration of your proposal.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent by August 9, 2021. For further information about the symposium see the Consumption Symposium Homepage.

Last Modified Date: July 8, 2021