Integrated Household Surveys: An Assessment of U.S. Methods and an Innovation Integrated Household Surveys: An Assessment of U.S. Methods and an Innovation

By Krislert Samphantharak, Scott Schuh, and Robert M. Townsend

With the desirability of having better data on U.S. household decisionmaking thrown into relief by the global Financial Crisis of 2008–09, the authors of this paper draw upon the experience of nearly two decades of work in Thailand (developed and documented in Samphantharak and Townsend 2010, henceforth S&T) that reveals the advantages of integrating household surveys and household financial statements. Using methodology developed by ST, the authors assess the extent to which U.S. household surveys are integrated with elements of household financial statements and demonstrate how a diary of consumer payment choices can be used to construct a new statement of liquidity flows that advances the current state of the art in measuring stock-flow dynamics.

An overarching goal of this paper is to present a comprehensive vision for practical implementation of household surveys that are integrated with financial statements and payments data, leaving no gaps in measurement, and strengthening the theoretical and applied linkages among measures. The new statement of U.S. household liquidity flows takes a step closer toward realizing the overarching vision of the paper.

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