Quality Change in Price Indexes
AbstractPrice indexes provide the fundamental building blocks for measuring the general price level along with real incomes and real output. But the most important single price index for the United States, the CPI, has been criticized as significantly underestimating the pace of quality change. This paper sketches the issues involved in the measurement of quality change in price indexes. It reviews the theory of quality change, discusses how the Bureau of Labor Statistics deals with quality change, and provides examples of measurement issues in practice. It concludes with a proposal to resolve the massive uncertainties in this area.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.
Volume (Year): 12 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
- C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
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