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Assessing Household Wellbeing: Comparing Consumption- and Income-based Measures for Farm and All U.S. Households using USDA ARMS and BLS CE Surveys using USDA ARMS and BLS CE Surveys Carol Adaire Jones Carol Adaire Jones Economic Research


  1. Assessing Household Wellbeing: Comparing Consumption- and Income-based Measures for Farm and All U.S. Households using USDA ARMS and BLS CE Surveys using USDA ARMS and BLS CE Surveys Carol Adaire Jones Carol Adaire Jones Economic Research Service, USDA The views expressed are those of the author(s) and should not be attributed to ERS or USDA. ERS ECONOMIC RESEARCH SERVICE

  2. Road map Road map • Project experience using CE data Project experience using CE data – Research context and questions – Findings, products to date Findings, products to date – Future plans • Challenges and recommendations Challenges and recommendations – Project dimension context: time, geography and demography – Challenges in using CE data – Desireable sample and data features

  3. Research context Research context • ERS indicators and research program on ERS indicators and research program on farm household well-being – Major data resource: Agricultural Resource Major data resource: Agricultural Resource Management Survey – Historical focus: income wealth indicators Historical focus: income, wealth indicators • Recent projects have expanded focus, to include consumption and health include consumption and health.

  4. Issue: Measuring relative well-being of farm and all U.S. households • Question: Does relative well-being differ using g g Q consumption and income measures? – Money income : measure of resources • Most commonly used in developed countries – Consumption : measure of standard of living • Due to income smoothing to maintain standard of living over Due to income smoothing to maintain standard of living over time, provides a better indicator of lifetime standard of living • Hypothesis: they do differ, because past research indicates divergence greatest where: indicates divergence greatest where: – Substantial share of resources is from other than money income, and/or – Income is highly variable

  5. Findings Findings • Use of consumption measure, rather than expenditure proxy makes a difference for farm expenditure proxy, makes a difference for farm hh: housing measures differ substantially. • Income and consumption well-being measures g tell different stories about relative well-being of farm and all U.S. households: – Comparing univariate distributions for two populations: Comparing univariate distributions for two populations: • Income: farm households are better off (except at first decile) based on income, though income is more variable • Consumption: farm household well-being looks comparable – Comparing bivariate distributions for individual hh: • Income, a measure of household resources, is a less effective proxy for standard of living for individual farm households, – Particularly those that rely more heavily on farm income Particularly those that rely more heavily on farm income

  6. Average consumption levels, unlike average expenditures, were comparable among farm and all U.S. households in 2006 comparable among farm and all U S households in 2006 $ $60,000 $47,979 $50,000 All other $42,368 $41,852 $37,288 $ , Contributions Contributions $40,000 $40 000 Insur/retiremt $30,000 Health care Transport Transport $20,000 Housing Food $10,000 $0 Farm All U.S. Farm All U.S. Expenditures Consumption Source: USDA, Economic Research Service using Agricultural Resource Management Survey 2006, and Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2006.

  7. In 2006, household incomes were higher for farm households relative to all U.S. households, at all deciles except the first Per-person equivalent-income $80 000 $80,000 All U.S. households All farm households $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 $0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Percentiles of per-person equivalent-income Source: USDA, Economic Research Service and National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey, 2006 and Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2006.

  8. In 2006, consumption levels were comparable for farm and all U S households for farm and all U.S. households Per-person equivalent-consumption $80,000 All U.S. households All farm households $60,000 , $40,000 $20,000 $0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Percentiles of per-person equivalent-consumption Source: USDA, Economic Research Service and National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey, 2006 and Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2006.

  9. Two-way distributions of household well-being: Income is a less effective proxy for consumption for p y p farm households, 2006 Farm operator households F t h h ld All U S h All U.S. households h ld Y-eq Consumption - eq Y-eq Consumption - eq Quin Quin- 20 20 40 40 60 60 80 80 100 100 Quin Quin- 20 20 40 40 60 60 80 80 100 100 tiles tiles 20 38 23 12 14 13 20 57 21 10 6 5 40 28 22 27 13 10 40 27 31 22 12 7 18 26 22 23 10 12 28 29 20 12 60 60 80 7 17 25 23 28 80 3 16 27 33 21 100 8 11 15 27 38 100 1 4 12 29 55 Note: Values in the cells are row percents, and sum to 100% across the row. Source: USDA, Economic Research Service and National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey, 2006 and Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2006.

  10. Outputs to date Outputs to date • Presentations: Agricultural and Applied Presentations: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 2009 annual meeting • Publications: – Jones, Carol Adaire, Daniel Milkove, and Laura Paszkiewicz, Measuring Farm Household Wellbeing: Comparing Consumption and Income Measures. C i C ti d I M ERR-91, U.S. Dept. of Agri., Econ. Res. Serv., 2010. http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/ERR91/ – Data Feature: “Measures of Farm Household Well- Being Tell Different Stories” , Amber Waves , 3/2010. (ERS’ magazine for non-specialist readers.) http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/March10/DataFeature/

  11. Future goals Future goals • Report consumption measure estimates Report consumption measure estimates for subsequent years – comparing farm to all U.S. households – International interest in developing statistical standards for farm hh consumption reporting • Conduct further statistical analysis • Incorporate TAXSIM to calculate disposable income

  12. International interest in farm h household consumption measure h ld ti • Wye City Group On Statistics on Rural Development and y y p p Agriculture Household Income – Under aegis of U.N. Statistics Division, a group of international experts, mainly from national statistical p , y agencies, focused on improving and expediting international standards development for statistical methodologies. [http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/citygroup/index.htm] • The Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics, developed under the auspices of the U.N .Statistical Commission. – http://wiki.asfoc.ibge.gov.br/Default.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

  13. Experience with CE data p • CE Interview Survey micro data files CE Interview Survey micro data files • Geography/demography dimensions: – Reported results in the national level, R t d lt i th ti l l l – plus created a farm household sub-sample to compare against ARMS farm households compare against ARMS farm households (though CE sample diverged from ARMS sample on key characteristics). • Time period: CY 2006

  14. Challenges in using CE data - 1 Challenges in using CE data 1 • Sample attrition and weighting : Weights Sample attrition and weighting : Weights are provided on a quarterly basis. – Given sample attrition, the weights do not Given sample attrition the weights do not generate a nationally representative sample for CUs with complete panel data (across all p p ( quarterly interviews).

  15. Challenges in using CE data - 2 Challenges in using CE data 2 • Calculation of standard errors: For Calculation of standard errors: For analysis pooling all available quarterly observations standard errors of annual observations, standard errors of annual expenditure estimates are calculated treating all observations as independent treating all observations as independent.

  16. Desireable data features Desireable data features • Enable calculations of annual (12-month) Enable calculations of annual (12 month) consumption expenditures for each CU • Provide current value of each vehicle (as • Provide current value of each vehicle (as Q1 interview, as for housing) • Report disposable income components, R t di bl i t for example, calculated using TAXSIM • Provide expenditures, incomes, assets and liabilities for the same time period

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