Consumer Expenditure Survey, 1988: Interview Survey, Detailed Expenditure Files Archival Version


The ongoing Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) provides a continuous flow of information on the buying habits of American consumers and also furnishes data to support periodic revisions of the Consumer Price Index. The survey consists of two separate components: (1) a quarterly Interview Survey in which each consumer unit (CU) in the sample is interviewed every three months over a 15-month period, and (2) a Diary Survey completed by the sample CUs for two consecutive one-week periods. The Interview Survey was designed to collect data on major items of expense, household characteristics, and income. The expenditures covered by the survey are those that respondents can recall fairly accurately for three months or longer. In general, these expenditures include relatively large purchases, such as those for property, automobiles, and major appliances, or expenditures that occur on a fairly regular basis, such as rent, utilities, or insurance premiums. Expenditures incurred while on trips are also covered by the survey. Excluded are nonprescription drugs, household supplies, and personal care items. Including global estimates on spending for food, it is estimated that about 90 to 95 percent of expenditures are covered in the Interview Survey. The Detailed Expenditure (MTAB) files that comprise this data collection were created from all the major expenditure sections of the Interview Survey questionnaires. These files contain more detailed expenditure records than those found in the Interview Survey data. In addition, the Detailed Expenditure files include Family Characteristics and Income (FMLY) files and Member Characteristics and Income (MEMB) files identical to those found in the Interview Survey. Total civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States. The Consumer Expenditure Survey is based on a national probability sample of households. Households are selected from primary sampling units (PSUs), which consist of counties (or parts thereof), groups of counties, or independent cities. The set of sample PSUs used for the survey is composed of 101 areas, of which 85 urban areas have also been selected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the Consumer Price Index program. The sampling frame from which housing units were selected was generated from the 1980 Census 100-percent detail file, augmented by new construction permits and coverage improvement techniques used to eliminate recognized deficiencies in that census. The sample design is a rotating panel survey in which one-fifth of the sample is dropped and a new group added each quarter. Each panel is interviewed for five consecutive quarters and then dropped from the survey. 2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 56 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.

Related Identifier DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR09842.v1
Metadata Access
Creator United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Publisher ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research
Publication Year 1993
Rights Delivery;This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Contact ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research
Language English
Resource Type Dataset;survey data
Discipline Not stated
Spatial Coverage {"United States","Time period: 1988"}
Temporal Coverage period : ( None - 1988-07-01T11:59:59Z )