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Activity Number: 469 - Using and Linking Administrative and Auxiliary Data
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Government Statistics Section
Abstract #304921 Presentation
Title: The Promises and Challenges of Linked Rent Data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey and Housing and Urban Development
Author(s): Garret Christensen* and Nikolas Pharris-Ciurej and Laura Erhard and Thesia Garner and Brett Butler and John Voorheis
Companies: US Census Bureau and U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Labor Statistics and US Census Burea
Keywords: administrative data; Consumer Expenditure Survey; rent subsidies; survey misreporting; data validation

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) is the primary source of data on the basket of goods and services that is used to calculate the Consumer Price Index. Concerns about the cost and accuracy of survey data incentivize using administrative data where possible to reduce costs and improve survey accuracy. This paper matches administrative data from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to CE data to investigate 1) misreporting of the receipt of rental assistance and 2) misalignment in reported values of rents. We report match rates for subgroups (e.g. race, ethnicity, and age of householder), as well as rates of non-response by those in HUD administrative data compared to overall rates for all CE sample units. We identify subgroups of respondents with larger misreporting of participation in rental assistance programs, as well as subgroups with larger misreporting of the value of rents paid. We then investigate how estimates of rent burden and the Supplemental Poverty Measure poverty thresholds are affected when replacing survey-reported rent with HUD administrative data.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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