German Sample Survey of Income and Expenditure; annual vs. trimestrial data
336 Öffentliches Finanzwesen
We outline a procedure for combining six cross-sections of the German Sample Survey
of Income and Expenditure, and discuss potential pitfalls of such a venture. Particularly, we
investigate the consequences of a major break in the survey design for inter-temporal comparisons
of expenditure categories: a reduction of the surveying period from twelve to three month taking
place between the census years 1993 and 1998. We demonstrate that for several commodities a
division-by-four of annually-surveyed expenses cannot guarantee inter-temporal comparability of
expenditure distributions. We suggest and test the performance of several alternative conversion
procedures. Suitability of conversion strategies hinges upon good-specific purchase properties.
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