Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Consumer Expenditure Surveys

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

Measuring Consumption and Consumption Inequality using Household Surveys (PDF)

Jonathan Fisher - Stanford University -

We describe our preferred definition of consumption using the Consumer Expenditure Surveys and provide the rationale for the choices we made, focusing on the consumption flows from durables we include and exclude. We present other definitions of consumption used in the economics literature and how these different definitions affect the level of inequality and the change in inequality. We also provide examples of choices we make when using the CE data and why they are important. Lastly, we end with some recommendations based on findings from our research.


Last Modified Date: November 10, 2021