The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) has a dual-frame sample design that supplements a standard area-probability frame with a sample of observations drawn from statistical records derived from tax returns. The tax-based frame is stratified on the basis of a ``wealth index'' constructed largely from observed income flows, with the intent of heavily oversampling wealthy households. Although the SCF is not specifically designed to estimate wealth concentration, the design arguably provides sufficient support to enable such analysis with a reasonable level of credibility. Similar estimates may also be made by using tax-based data directly, as in Saez and Zucman , by using a construct very close to a key part of the SCF wealth index. Such an approach has appeal as a way of tapping a much larger set of information to improve SCF estimates. Not surprisingly, there are differences in the two approaches, largely as a result of conceptual differences or complications in the survey implementation. This paper focuses on the top 1 percent of the wealth distribution, the group most intensively covered by the SCF list sample and it explores the stability of the relationship between the patterns of concentration in the survey data and parallel patterns in tax-based estimates and considers how those patterns differ across survey participants, the full sample and the entire survey frame. In addition, the paper makes as series of recommendation for further research on the technical support of the survey.
Saez E., and Zucman G., Wealth Inequality in the United States since 1913: Evidence from Capitalized Income Data, working paper, University of California Berkeley, Subsequently published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics 131(2) (May 2016), 519-578.
Bricker J., , Henriques A.M., , Krimmel J.A., and Sabelhaus J.E., Measuring Income and Wealth at the Top Using Administrative and Survey Data, Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-30. Washington: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 2015, http://dx.doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2015.030.
Bricker J., , Dettling L.J., , Henriques A.M., , Hsu J.W., , Moore K.B., , Sabelhaus J.E., , Thompson J., and Windle R.A., Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2010 to 2013: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances, Federal Reserve Bulletin 100(4) (September 2014), 1-40.
Kennickell A.B., Multiple Imputation in the Survey of Consumer Finances, Statistical Journal of the IAOS 33(1) (2017), 143-151 %Proceedings of the Survey Research Methods Section, American Statistical Association, 1998.
Kennickell A.B., Getting to the Top: Reaching Wealthy Respondents in the SCF, Statistical Journal of the IAOS 33(1) (2017), 113-123 %Proceedings of the Survey Research Methods Section, American Statistical Association, 2009.
Bricker J., and Kennickell A.B., Shared Understanding and Data Quality in the SCF, Proceedings of the Survey Research Methods Section, American Statistical Association, 2013.
Kennickell A.B., Dirty and Unknown: Statistical Editing and Imputation in the SCF, forthcoming (September) Statistical Journal of the International Association for Official Statistics 31(3) 2015, 435-445..
Tourangeau R., , Johnson R.A., , Qian J., , Shin H.-C., and Frankel M.R., Selection of NORC's 1990 National Sample,working paper, National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 1993.
O'Muircheartaigh C., , Eckman S., and Weiss C., Traditional and Enhanced Field Listing for Probability Sampling, Proceedings of the Social Statistics Section of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, 2002, 2563-2567.
O'Muircheartaigh C., , Eckman S., and Weiss C., Using Income Data to Predict Wealth, Proceedings of the Survey Research Methods Section, American Statistical Association, 1999.
Kennickell A.B., and McManus D.A., Sampling for Household Financial Characteristics Using Frame Information on Past Income, Proceedings of the Survey Research Methods Section, American Statistical Association, 1993.
Statistics of Income Division of the Internal Revenue Service, Individual Complete Report, 2014, http://www.irs.gov/pub/ irs-soi/08insec2.pdf.
Frankel M., and Kennickell A.B., Toward the Development of an Optimal Stratification Paradigm for the Survey of Consumer Finances, Proceedings of the Survey Research Methods Section, American Statistical Association, 1995.
Canterbury E.R., and Joe Nosari E., The Forbes Four Hundred: The Determinants of Super-Wealth, Southern Economic Journal 51 (April 1985), 1073-1982.
Greenwood D., An Estimation of U.S. Family Wealth and its Distribution from Microdata, Review of Income and Wealth 29 (1983), 23-43.
Kennickell A.B., Modeling Wealth with Multiple Observations of Income: Redesign of the Sample for the 2001 Survey of Consumer Finances, Statistical Journal of the IAOS 33(1) (2017), 51-58 %Proceedings of the Survey Research Methods Section, American Statistical Association, 2001.
Office of Management and Budget, Executive office of the President, Standards and Guidelines for Statistical Surveys, 2006, https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/in-foreg/statpolicy/standards_stat_surveys.pdf.
Kennickell A.B., and Louise Woodburn R.,  Consistent Weight Design for the 1989, 1992, and 1995 SCFs, and the Distribution of Wealth, Review of Income and Wealth 45(2) (June 1999), 193-215.
Kennickell A.B., Revisions to the Variance Estimation Procedure for the SCF, 2000, http://www.federalreserve.gov/econ-resdata/scf/files/variance.pdf.
OECD, OECD Guidelines for Micro Statistics on Household Wealth, OECD Publishing, 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/ 9789264194878-en.
Henriques A.M., and Hsu J.W., , Analysis of Wealth using Micro and Macro Data: A Comparison of the Survey of Consumer Finances and Flow of Funds Accounts, in: Measuring Economic Sustainability and Progress, Jorgenson D.W., , Landefeld J.S., and Schreyer P., eds, Studies in Income and Wealth, Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 72, 2014.
Cagetti M., , Holmquist E.B., , Lynn L., , McIntosh S.H., and Wasshausen D., , The Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts of the United States, in: Measuring Economic Sustainability and Progress, Jorgenson D.W., , Landefeld J.S., and Schreyer P., Studies in Income and Wealth Volume 72, University of Chicago Press, 2014, pp. 277-321,
Johnson B.W., and Moore K.B., Differences in Income Estimates Derived from Survey and Tax Data, in Proceedings of the Survey Research Methods Section, American Statistical Association, 2009, pp. 1495-1503.
Kennickell A.B., The Role of Over-sampling of the Wealthy in the Survey of Consumer Finances, in The IFC's contribution to the 56th ISI Session, Lisbon, August 2007, 28, 2008, pp. 403-408.
Pfeffer F.T., , Schoeni R.F., , Kennickell A., and Andreski P., Measuring Wealth and Wealth Inequality: Comparing Two U.S. Surveys, working paper, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 2014.
Kopczuk W., What Do We Know about Evolution of Top Wealth Shares in the United States, NBER working paper 20734, 2014, http://www.nber.org/papers/w20734.
Picketty T., Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Belknap Press, 2014.
Quadrini V., , Díaz-Giménez J., and Ríos-Rull J.-V., Dimensions of inequality: Facts on the US distributions of earnings, income, and wealth, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Quarterly Review 21(2) (1997), 3-21.
Wolff E.N., Recent Trends in Household Wealth in the United States: Rising Debt and the Middle-Class Squeeze - an Update to 2007, Working Paper No. 589, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, 2010.
Kennickell A.B., Ponds and Streams: Wealth and Income in the U.S., 1989 to 2007, Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009. Washington: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 2009, http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2009/200913/200913pap.pdf.
Kennickell A.B., The Other, Other Half: Changes in the Finances of the Least Wealthy 50 Percent, 2007-2009, Statistical Journal of the IAOS 33(1) (2017), 185-193. %Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012. Washington: Board of Governors of the Federal %Reserve System, 2012, http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2012/201240/201240pap.pdf.