The Census Bureau Needs to Significantly Revise Reporting and Calculation of Its Online and Physical Retail Sales Figures and Commission an Independent Review
10 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2016
Date Written: February 7, 2016
This paper reports significant discrepancies in the Census’s methods and reports of online and physical retail sales in the United States. We recommend material changes in how the Census Bureau reports e-commerce and physical sales reported to it. We also recommend that the Census commission an independent review of its methods and reporting.
Keywords: Internet economy, e-commerce, Census retail data, online sales, data quality
JEL Classification: L10, L11, L22, L81, L86, M21, N82, Y1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation