1983-89 Panel Survey of Consumer Finances

Summary Results

Special Note on the 1983-1989 Panel SCF
The 1989 SCF had an overlapping panel/cross-section sample design that can be approximately characterized as follows. 1983 participants who still lived at their 1983 addresses in 1989 were included in both the panel and the cross-section. A sample of 1983 participants who had moved was followed, and these cases have only panel representation. New residents of 1983 sample addresses and members of a newly selected cross-section sample have only cross-sectional representation. The data referenced on the 1983-89 Panel SCF data page pertain only to cases with panel representation. Data for cases with cross-sectional representation may be found on the 1989 SCF page.

Current SCF Tables and Chartbook


Four types of technical documentation for the 1983-89 Panel SCF are available: the panel codebook, a questionnaire-style summary of the survey variables, the household enumeration folder (HEF), and the panel survey questionnaire. In addition, technical working papers on the survey methodology are available.

Codebook for the 1983-89 Panel Survey of Consumer Finances
Arthur B. Kennickell
The codebook contains the text, variable names, and responses for the questions asked in the survey. Also provided are a summary of the technical aspects of the survey design, guidelines used in editing, and a list of the variables included in the public data set. 
Codebook (799 KB ASCII)
Last updated March 30, 2006

Questionnaire-Style Summary of the 1983-89 Panel SCF Variables
This document is based on the questionnaire for the 1983-89 Panel SCF. The questionnaire has been altered to include the SCF X-variable names of the final variables. The codes available in this document do not always include the full range used in the dataset. The codebook is the appropriate place to turn for the fine details of the structure of the data. 
Questionnaire-style summary (5.9 MB PDF)
Last updated March 1, 2001

Household Enumeration Folders (HEF) and Household Listing Update (HLU)
There are four versions of the 1983-89 HEF. The HLU was used with each one, except for the Cross-Section Only HEF.

Panel Only HEF ("yellow coversheet")
This HEF was used for 1983 respondents who no longer lived at their 1983 address.

Panel Only HEF (511 KB PDF)

Panel/Cross-Section HEF ("green coversheet")
This HEF was used for 1983 respondents who still lived at their 1983 address and were eligible for a panel interview. 
Panel/Cross-Section HEF (467 KB PDF)

Splitoff HEF ("pink coversheet")
This HEF was used for members of 1983 respondent couples who no longer lived together in 1989. An attempt was made to contact each spouse who was a respondent in 1983. 
Splitoff HEF (463 KB PDF)

Cross-Section Only HEF ("white coversheet")
This HEF was used for residents at 1983 sample addresses who were not eligible for a panel interview (i.e., new residents at a 1983 sample address, residents who refused an interview in 1983, and 1983 participants who were under age 22 at that time). Cases that used this form were not included in the panel dataset. 
Cross-Section Only HEF (1.2 MB PDF)

Survey Data

Full Public Data Set: SAS format
The panel survey data are available in two formats. The first set of data are made available in two types of transport file. These files may be used with the current versions of SAS. (Help is available for importing these files as SAS datasets.) One version is created using PROC CPORT; this is the smaller of the two files. The second one is created using PROC COPY with the EXPORT option; this file may be particularly convenient for users who do not have access to SAS, but who do have some means of translating the dataset to another form using a software package that does not support CPORT files. Additionally, the panel survey data set is available as a Stata data set. All of these types of files are provided in compressed form as WINZIP files. (See PKWARE website for software to uncompress WINZIP files.)

The panel respondents are a subset of the participants in the 1983 SCF who were also interviewed as a part of the 1989 SCF. As described in more detail in the codebook, the data here are a specially processed version of the data from the two interviews. For reasons noted in the codebook, this file does not incorporate data from the 1986 wave of the panel.

Missing data have been imputed three times with a multiple imputation technique. The information is stored in three separate and internally coherent imputation replicates (implicates). Thus, for the 1,479 families interviewed for the survey, there are 4,437 records in the data set. The codebook provides more detail on the structure of the data set.

WARNING: Some browser versions will download these files in unzipped form; the resulting PROC CPORT transport file will require 35.3 MB of disk space and the resulting PROC COPY transport file will require 80.1 MB of disk space. When uncompressed and imported as a V9.1.3 engine SAS data set, these files require 46.6 MB of disk space.

Survey data: CPORT version (2.5 MB ZIP)
Survey data: COPY/EXPORT version (3.8 MB ZIP)
Last updated March 2, 2007

Full Public Data Set: Stata format
A second version of the panel survey data is given as a Stata data set. Because the data set contains approximately 4700 variables, users will need to use Stata SE if they wish to impute all the variables. Users of standard Stata will need to specify a subset of variables when using the data set.

WARNING: Some browser versions will download these files in unzipped form; the resulting Stata file will require 28.5 MB of disk space. 
Survey data: Stata (2.2 MB ZIP)
Last updated March 2, 2007

Full Public Data Set: ASCII format
A third version of the full public data set is given in ASCII format. The variables included have exactly the same values as those in the SAS and Stata data sets. The layout of the variables is given by a format file, which is provided in Excel and tab-delimited formats. Note that under certain operating systems the end of record marker will add one character to the record length listed in the format file.

WARNING: Some browser versions will download these files in unzipped form; the resulting ASCII file will require 209 MB of disk space. 
Main survey data: ASCII (7 MB ZIP)
Map of variables: Excel (506 KB Excel)
Map of variables: Tab-delimited (133 KB ASCII)

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Last Update: March 08, 2017