Gemini Project to Redesign the Consumer Expenditure Surveys
The Gemini Project was launched to research and develop a redesign of the Consumer Expenditure (CE) surveys, addressing issues of measurement error and respondent burden. In July 2013, a redesign proposal was approved, outlining the future direction of the CE survey. More information on the history of the Gemini Project is available on this page under Gemini Background. Documents related to the Gemini project can be found at the CE library by filtering on the "Gemini" column.
On This Page
Latest Updates on the Redesign
The annual free CE sponsored Survey Methods Symposium was held online on July 20, 2021. The symposium featured updates from CE staff on the ongoing Gemini redesign initiative and several presentations on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on CE data collection procedures and data quality. Presentations from the symposium are available in the CE Library.
The Gemini Field Tests page has added preliminary and final results from the Large Scale Feasibility Test of Online Diaries.
CE has decided to implement the online diary into production starting in July 2022, based on results from the Large Scale Feasibility Test for Online Diaries which was fielded in 2019-2020.
Information on design, related materials, and results for the following Gemini field tests are available on the Gemini Field Tests page: the Individual Diaries Field Test (August-December 2014), the Gemini Proof of Concept Test (July-September 2015), and the Incentives and Outlets Test (July-December 2016).
A data quality section and report was added to the CE methodology webpage. Measuring data quality is an important step in judging the effectiveness of the implemented redesign and the prototype report provides a baseline. Additional data quality measurement indicators will be added in future iterations of the data quality profile report.
Overview of the CE Redesign
The original Gemini Project consisted of a single sample design with two interviews per wave and a diary keeping week in between. Each household member over the age of 15 was to complete an individual diary. Each household was to be interviewed twice, one year apart. The design featured online diaries with a paper backup. To emphasize record use, the redesign plan was to split one interview into 2 shorter interviews to redistribute burden, a recall and a records interview. The design featured both token and conditional incentives.
As the design was tested in various field tests, we found that:
As of 2018, we changed direction and moved to a phased implementation of the redesign plan to maintain effective design elements and implement them directly into the Consumer Expenditure Interview and Diary surveys.
Key features of the phased implementation plan:
The timeline for the Gemini Project reflects the phased implementation plan for the redesign. More information on the original redesign plan, results of various tests of the redesign plan, and the current plan for phased implementation are discussed in this presentation: An Introduction to the CE Redesign. The timeline for the project is shown in the figure below:
The Gemini Project to redesign the CE survey was launched in 2009, and the redesign plan was approved in 2013. The documents below provide more information on the history of the Gemini Project including the final report of the CNSTAT panel on redesigning the Consumer Expenditure Surveys. Other documents related to the background of the Gemini Project can be found in the CE library.
Several field tests have been conducted since 2013 to test various elements of the redesign. Details on those tests can be found on the Gemini Field Test page.
Questions or comments about the redesign? Contact us at GeminiOutreach@bls.gov.
Last Modified Date: March 2, 2022