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Index Number Issues in the Consumer Price Index

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  • W. Erwin Diewert

Abstract

This paper addresses the following issues: what is an appropriate theoretical consumer price index that statistical agencies should attempt to measure; what are some of the possible sources of biases between the fixed base Laspeyres price index that statistical agencies produce and the theoretical cost-of-living index; and what factors will make the biases larger or smaller and how will the biases change as the general inflation rate changes? This paper addresses all of the issues mentioned above and discusses what statistical agencies can do to reduce the biases.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.12.1.47
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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: 47-58

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:12:y:1998:i:1:p:47-58

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.12.1.47
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  1. Lloyd, P J, 1975. "Substitution Effects and Biases in Nontrue Price Indices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 301-13, June.
  2. Jerry Hausman, 1997. "Cellular Telephone, New Products and the CPI," NBER Working Papers 5982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Diewert, W Erwin, 1978. "Superlative Index Numbers and Consistency in Aggregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 883-900, July.
  4. W. Erwin Diewert, 1995. "Axiomatic and Economic Approaches to Elementary Price Indexes," NBER Working Papers 5104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hausman, J.A., 1994. "Valuation of New Goods Under Perfect and Imperfect Competition," Working papers 94-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Economics of New Goods," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bres96-1, octubre-d.
  7. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
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