Federal Reserve to conduct study in April on household finances

126px-US-FederalReserveSystem-Seal.svgIn April, the Federal Reserve Board will conduct a study of household finances to provide lawmakers with information regarding the economic situations of various types of American families.

The study, which has been conducted every three years since 1983, will collect data on assets, including houses, cars and stocks, as well as borrowing and banking history, all of which have contributed to economic policy discussions in the past.

“This survey is one of the nation’s primary sources of information on the financial condition of different types of households,” Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said. “Our previous surveys…have helped the Federal Reserve and other parts of government make policy decisions and have also supported a wide variety of basic research, public discussion and education.”

Study participants are chosen at random from 127 different metropolitan and rural areas across the country. The study will be conducted by NORC, a social science research organization at the University of Chicago, and an organization representative will contact each participant to explain the study and request an interview. A letter from Bernanke will also be sent to about 13,000 households to urge their participation in the survey.

“I assure you that we give the highest priority to guarding the privacy of all survey participants and the confidentiality of their answers,” Bernanke said.

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