The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) is the most frequently used dataset for research in this journal, but many researchers and readers do not fully understand some of the dataset’s complex details. This article provides insight into important issues that researchers and readers need to understand to accurately conduct and interpret SCF-based research. The issues addressed include the primary economic unit versus the household, identifying the respondent versus the head, limitations of variables in the survey, imputation and implicates, shadow variables, the public dataset versus the full dataset, weighting of analyses, and the use of replicate weights.

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