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Study of Consumer Purchases in the United States, 1935-1936

Version
v2
Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
Creator
  • United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cost of Living Division
  • United States Department of Agriculture. Bureau of Home Economics. Economics Division
  • United States National Resources Committee. Consumption Research Staff. Industrial Section
  • United States Central Statistical Board
  • United States Works Progress Administration
Other Title
  • Version 2 (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • Cost of Living Survey Series
Publication Date
1991-03-05
Funding Reference
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Language
English
Free Keywords
consumers; cost of living; debt; demographic characteristics; economic conditions; economic indicators; economic trends; expenditures; expenses; families; farm families; financial assets; food costs; food production; home ownership; household composition; household income; households; housing; income; living conditions; ownership; products; purchasing; rural population; urban population; wage earners; working class
Description
  • Abstract

    In 1935, the principal investigators interviewed a national sample of all families in the United States to ascertain for the first time in a single national survey the earning and spending habits of inhabitants of large and small cities, villages, and farms. Families completed questionnaires that reported in detail all household income sources and expenditures. Respondents were asked to list the amount of all income received by the family from each person employed as well as from other sources such as gifts, interest and dividends, pensions, and work in the home. Complete information was also provided on family composition, type of living quarters, housing accommodations, fuel and other utility expenses, medical care, recreational activities, tobacco use, purchase of reading materials, educational expenses, miscellaneous occupational expenses, gifts furnished, taxes paid, automobile expenses, personal care costs, and a detailed appraisal of all changes in family assets and liabilities over the course of the previous year. Families also reported the quantity of food items consumed, unit purchase price, and total expense of all food items consumed by the family in the seven days prior to the interview. In addition, families were queried on furnishings and equipment purchased for the home as well as on all items of clothing purchased for each family member in the previous year. Demographic characteristics recorded for each household member include relationship to the household head, age, sex, occupation, weeks spent at home or away from home, wage rate, length of time employed during the year, and total earnings.
  • Table of Contents

    Datasets:

    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Income Data for All Sampled Urban Families
    • DS2: Income Data for Urban and Rural Families
    • DS3: Income and Expenditure Data for Urban Families
    • DS4: Income and Expenditure Data for Rural Families
Temporal Coverage
  • 1935 / 1936
    Time period: 1935--1936
  • 1935 / 1936
    Collection date: 1935--1936
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
All native-born families living in the United States in 1935-1936.
Sampling
The data were collected from 51 cities, 140 villages, and 66 farm counties. The principal investigators selected these areas as primary sampling units to represent the demographic, regional, and economic characteristics of the United States. From these areas a randomly selected group of approximately 700,000 families were screened as a first wave. From this first group, approximately 300,000 families were selected to supply basic income and housing information. Some 61,000 families were selected from this second group to furnish more comprehensive expenditure information. For the present collection, random subsamples of approximately 5,000 families who completed income schedules only and 6,000 families who completed both income and expenditure schedules were chosen.
Collection Mode
  • A portion of the families surveyed in this collection provided only basic income and housing information while other families also provided detailed expenditure information. Part 1 includes income and housing data for ALL sampled families in urban areas, regardless of whether they provided expenditure information. Part 2 includes income and housing data for urban and rural families who DID NOT provide any expenditure data. Parts 3 and 4 include both income and expenditure data for urban and rural families, respectively.

    Facsimiles of the original income and expenditure interview forms (called "schedules") are provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file in the ICPSR codebook for this collection.

Note
2009-06-29 The SPSS and SAS setup files and codebook (questionnaire included) have been updated. Also, a Stata setup file, SPSS and Stata system files, a SAS transport (CPORT) file, and a tab-delimited ASCII data file have been added.2006-03-30 File QU8908.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.1999-04-26 Parts 2 through 4 have been added to this collection, and the data collection instruments are now available in a PDF file. Funding insitution(s): National Endowment for the Humanities (RT-20853-87). Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (B1989-22).
Availability
Delivery
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (help@icpsr.umich.edu).
Alternative Identifiers
  • 8908 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
Relations
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR08908.v3
  • Is new version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR08908.v1
Publications
  • Ferrie, Joseph P., Rolf, Karen, Troesken, Werner. Lead exposure and the perpetuation of low socioeconomic status. 2015 Annual Meeting of the Allied Social Science Associations.Boston, MA. 2015.
    • ID: http://cliometrics.org/pdf/2015-assa/Ferrie_Troesken_Rolf.pdf (URL)
  • Hausman, Joshua Kautsky. New Deal Policies and Recovery from the Great Depression. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley. 2013.
  • Ferrie, Joseph P., Rolf, Karen, Troesken, Werner. Cognitive disparities, lead plumbing, and water chemistry: Prior exposure to water-borne lead and intelligence test scores among World War Two U.S. Army enlistees. Economics and Human Biology.10, (1), 98-111.2012.
    • ID: 10.1016/j.ehb.2011.09.003 (DOI)
  • Moen, Jon. Child Earnings in the Great Depression: A View from the 1935-36 Survey of Consumer Purchases. Fourth European Social Science History Conference.The Hague. 2002.
  • Costa, Dora L.. American Living Standards, 1888-1994: Evidence from Consumer Expenditures. NBER Working Paper Series.7650, Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. 2000.
    • ID: http://papers.nber.org/papers/w7650.pdf (URL)
  • Moen, Jon R., Gratton, Brian. Tracking the Majority: Households, Older Workers, and Retirement During the Great Depression. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.55B, (1), S28-S32.2000.
  • Costa, Dora L.. American Living Standards: Evidence from Recreational Expenditures. NBER Working Paper Series.7148, Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. 1999.
    • ID: http://papers.nber.org/papers/w7148.pdf (URL)
  • Margo, Robert A.. Employment and Unemployment in the 1930s. Journal of Economic Perspectives.7, (2), 41-59.1993.
    • ID: 10.1257/jep.7.2.41 (DOI)
  • Austin, Erik W., Clubb, Jerome M., Granda, Peter A.. Understanding Living Conditions: The Cost of Living Surveys in the U.S., 1888-1937. American Statistical Association Annual Meeting.Atlanta, GA. 1991.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 3 | Registration Date: 2015-06-30

United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cost of Living Division; United States Department of Agriculture. Bureau of Home Economics. Economics Division; United States National Resources Committee. Consumption Research Staff. Industrial Section; United States Central Statistical Board; United States Works Progress Administration (1991): Study of Consumer Purchases in the United States, 1935-1936. Version 2. Cost of Living Survey Series. Version: v2. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08908.v2