Pre-Conference - ACCI Conference 2014

From the Elementary to the Expert:  How to Obtain and Use Tabular and Microdata from the Consumer Expenditure Survey

Sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) is the most detailed source of expenditure data collected directly from households by the Federal government. Information on income, assets and liabilities, and demographics is also collected from the national sample. Tabular and microdata from this rich and unique source are available for free download.

This pre-conference workshop will provide information about, and instruction in, the use of CE data, and their value to researchers and practitioners at all levels of career development and experience, including students (graduate and undergraduate).

The presenters include experts from the CE program staff, and two Ph.D. candidates using the microdata in their dissertations. Each candidate uses data from a different component of the data: The quarterly Interview Survey and the two-week Diary Survey.

At the workshop, attendees will learn about research in progress using these data. In addition, attendees will learn how to:

  • Download tabular and microdata for free;
  • Use the microdata files to conduct their own analyses;
  • Contact CE program staff for all needs ranging from simple questions to in-depth assistance.

The structure of this session is hands on; there will be exercises using the microdata files while there are experts in the room to assist you. You will also have the opportunity to ask specific questions or concerns you would like to see addressed during the workshop.

You may be aware that there is an annual three-day free CE microdata users’ workshop offered in Washington, DC ( However, ACCI and the BLS have teamed up to bring you this information conveniently adjacent to the ACCI Annual Conference. The nominal registration fee of $50 for Students/Retirees and $100 for Professionals helps defray lunch and administrative expenses.