Alexander Wenz, Annette Jäckle, Jonathan Burton, Mick P. Couper, Brendan Read
Quality of expenditure data collected with a mobile receipt scanning app in a probability household panel

Understanding Society Working Paper; 2023-02
47 p.
Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex

In this paper, we compare the quality of expenditure data collected from a mobile receipt scanning app in the Understanding Society Innovation Panel with benchmark data from the Living Costs and Food Survey, the national budget survey in the United Kingdom. The results suggest that expenditure reported with scanned receipts plus direct entry aligns closely with the benchmark, whereas app data from scanned receipts only clearly underestimate expenditure. In addition, the app data align more closely with the benchmark for respondents who are older, male, have an above-median income, and live in rural areas. The implications of measurement differences vary: comparisons of estimated budget shares are closer to the benchmark for some categories than others.