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Consumer Prices, the Consumer Price Index, and the Cost of Living

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  • Michael J. Boskin
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    Abstract

    After presenting major findings and recommendations, the CPI Commission reiterates the estimate of a 1.1 percentage point per annum upward bias. It rejects the contention that the BLS already makes substantial corrections for quality change; that quality improvements and new products accrue only to the rich; and that procedures to make more extensive quality adjustments, valuations of new products, and adjustments for commodity and outlet substitution are impractical. The bias in the CPI can be sharply reduced, as the authors detail in this paper. Coauthors are Ellen R. Dulberger, Robert J. Gordon, Zvi Griliches, and Dale W. Jorgenson.

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.12.1.3
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

    Volume (Year): 12 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
    Pages: 3-26

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:12:y:1998:i:1:p:3-26

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.12.1.3
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    1. Michael J. Boskin & John B. Shoven, 1987. "Concepts and Measures of Earnings Replacement During Retirement," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in Pension Economics, pages 113-146 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Angus Deaton, 1998. "Getting Prices Right: What Should Be Done?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 37-46, Winter.
    3. Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1987. "Issues in Pension Economics," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi87-1.
    4. Braithwait, Steven D, 1980. "The Substitution Bias of the Laspeyres Price Index: An Analysis Using Estimated Cost-of-Living Indexes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(1), pages 64-77, March.
    5. David M. Cutler & Mark McClellan, 1996. "The Determinants of Technological Change in Heart Attack Treatment," NBER Working Papers 5751, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. David M. Cutler & Mark McClellan & Joseph P. Newhouse & Dahlia Remler, 1996. "Are Medical Prices Declining?," NBER Working Papers 5750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Boskin, Michael J & Jorgenson, Dale W, 1997. "Implications of Overstating Inflation for Indexing Government Programs and Understanding Economic Progress," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 89-93, May.
    8. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
    9. Michael J. Boskin & John B. Shoven, 1987. "Concepts and Measures of Earnings Replacement During Retirement," NBER Working Papers 1360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    1. Middle Class Income Stagnation is a Myth
      by Tino in Super-Economy on 2011-11-18 21:31:00
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