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Consumers' Opinion of Inflation Bias Due to Quality Improvements in Transition in the Czech Republic

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  • Jan Hanousek
  • Randall K. Filer

Abstract

Substantial understatement of the degree of quality improvement during transition, and, therefore, a substantial overstatement of inflation rates has resulted in a serious downward bias in estimates of the rate of growth of post-communist economies. The move to free markets has apparently improved consumers’ welfare more by improving what they can purchase than by increasing how much they can purchase. Examining 63 products, focus group respondents in the Czech Republic reported that if they were to purchase the 1990 quality product today they would only be willing to do so at a average of 54 per cent of the current price for the current quality product. This implies that the actual increase in prices for the decade for these products 66 per cent instead of the official 139 per cent. Overall, mismeasurement of quality changes may have understated Czech growth rates during the first decade after communism by as much as 5 percentage point per year.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp184.

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Date of creation: Aug 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp184

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Keywords: Inflation Bias; Quality Change; Transition Economies;

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References

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  1. Nick Hanley & Gary Koop & Begoña Álvarez-Farizo & Robert E. Wright & Ceara Nevin, 2001. "Go climb a mountain: an application of recreation demand modelling to rock climbing in Scotland," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 36-52.
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  3. Lancaster, Kelvin, 1977. "The Measurement of Changes in Quality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 23(2), pages 157-72, June.
  4. Kaplowitz, Michael D. & Hoehn, John P., 2001. "Do focus groups and individual interviews reveal the same information for natural resource valuation?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 237-247, February.
  5. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1996. "Whither Socialism?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262691825, December.
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  7. Shogren, Jason F. & Seung Y. Shin & Dermot J. Hayes & James B. Kliebenstein, 1994. "Resolving Differences in Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 255-70, March.
  8. Kolstad, Charles D. & Guzman, Rolando M., 1999. "Information and the Divergence between Willingness to Accept and Willingness to Pay," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 66-80, July.
  9. Wiktor L. Adamowicz & Vinay Bhardwaj & Bruce Macnab, 1993. "Experiments on the Difference between Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 69(4), pages 416-427.
  10. Kontogianni, Areti & Skourtos, Mihalis S. & Langford, Ian H. & Bateman, Ian J. & Georgiou, Stavros, 2001. "Integrating stakeholder analysis in non-market valuation of environmental assets," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 123-138, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Balázs Égert, & László Halpern & Ronald MacDonald, 2005. "Equilibrium Exchange Rates in Transition Economies: Taking Stock of the Issues," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp793, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. Égert, Balázs, 2004. "Assessing equilibrium exchange rates in CEE acceding countries: Can we have DEER with BEER without FEER? A critical survey of the literature," BOFIT Discussion Papers 1/2004, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  3. Jan Babecký & Fabrizio Coricelli & Roman Horváth, 2009. "Assessing Inflation Persistence: Micro Evidence on an Inflation Targeting Economy," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 59(2), pages 102-127, June.
  4. Randall K. Filer & Jan Hanousek, 2001. "Data Watch: Research Data from Transition Economies," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 416, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  5. Irena Szarowská, 2008. "Financing Of Public Services Through Public Private Partnership Projects," JOURNAL STUDIA UNIVERSITATIS BABES-BOLYAI NEGOTIA, Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Business.
  6. Jan Hanousek & Randall K. Filer, 2003. "Substitution Biases in Price Indexes during Transition," Development and Comp Systems 0306002, EconWPA.
  7. Jan Hanousek & Randall K. Filer, 2001. "Evaluating Imperfections and Biases in Price Indexes during Transition," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp186, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  8. Kovács, Ilona, 2003. "A fogyasztói árindex torzító tényezői
    [Distorting factors in the consumer price index]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 702-719.
  9. Randall K. Filer & Jan Hanousek, 2003. "Inflationary Bias in Mid to Late Transition Czech Republic," Development and Comp Systems 0306001, EconWPA.
  10. Olimpia State & Gabriela Tigu & Claudia - Elena Tuclea, 2008. "Etude De Marché Sur La Culture Des Organisations De L’Industrie Touristique," JOURNAL STUDIA UNIVERSITATIS BABES-BOLYAI NEGOTIA, Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Business.

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