Causes and Consequences of Bias in the Consumer Price Index as a Measure of the Cost of Living
AbstractThe accurate measure of prices is fundamental to almost every important issue in economics, from measuring economic progress to the conduct of monetary policy to the indexation of private contracts and public programs and tax rules. This paper reviews the causes of bias in the United States Consumer Price Index (CPI), updates the estimate of such bias (now roughly 0.8 percent per annum) following several improvements by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), notes the likely far larger substitution bias than previously estimated and calls for a series of priority improvements. Particular attention is called to the over 40 basis point slower growth of the BLS’ C-CPI-U compared to the CPI-U, more than double the early 1990s estimates, which highlights the importance of moving to a formula such as the chained Tornqvist C-CPI that corrects for traditional substitution bias. The implications for mismeasuring the growth of real wages, real median income, and real returns to stocks and bonds are developed, as are the budgetary implications of the overindexing of spending and tax brackets resulting from the overstatement of changes in the cost of living. Copyright IAES 2005
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by International Atlantic Economic Society in its journal Atlantic Economic Journal.
Volume (Year): 33 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 10A Maryland Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63108-1502 U.S.A.
Phone: (314) 454-0100
Fax: (314) 454-9109
Web page: http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=112055
More information through EDIRC
C81; C82; E30;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
- C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
- E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bajari, Patrick & Benkard, C. Lanier & Krainer, John, 2004.
"House Prices and Consumer Welfare,"
1840, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
- David E. Lebow & Jeremy B. Rudd, 2003. "Measurement Error in the Consumer Price Index: Where Do We Stand?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 159-201, March.
- Oxman, Jeffrey, 2012. "Price inflation and stock returns," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 385-388.
- Marshall Reinsdorf & Jack E. Triplett, 2009. "A Review of Reviews: Ninety Years of Professional Thinking About the Consumer Price Index," NBER Chapters, in: Price Index Concepts and Measurement, pages 17-83 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.