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Measuring Economic Sustainability and Progress$
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Dale W. Jorgenson, J. Steven Landefeld, and Paul Schreyer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226121338

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226121475.001.0001

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Integration of Micro- and Macrodata on Consumer Income and Expenditures

Integration of Micro- and Macrodata on Consumer Income and Expenditures

(p.137) 6 Integration of Micro- and Macrodata on Consumer Income and Expenditures
Measuring Economic Sustainability and Progress

Clinton P. McCully

University of Chicago Press

Household income and expenditure estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis measure aggregate and per capita averages, but provide no information on the distribution of income, crucial to measuring economic well-being. Micro estimates of household cash flow have information on income distribution and other household breakdowns, but are confined to cash income and direct household expenditures, and suffer from problems of non-reporting, underreporting, and underrepresentation of high-income households. Integrated estimates of household income and expenditures provide estimates of income distribution consistent with the more accurate and broadly-defined macro values, which include payments by employers and government for health care, and account for the effects of income taxes. Integrated estimates of household disposable income show a lesser degree of income inequality than do micro estimates from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement, largely because of the inclusion of in-kind government social benefits that disproportionately benefit lower-income households, and of the exclusion from income of personal income taxes, disproportionately paid by high-income households. Changes between 2006 and 2010 show a narrowing in income discrepancies, reflecting declines in self-employment and property income of the top quintile and increases in government social benefits and lower taxes for the lowest quintile.

Keywords:   expenditures, underreporting, underrepresentation, income inequality, disposable income, distribution of income

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