Harmonized indexes of consumer prices: their conceptual foundations
AbstractThe Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) is the single most important indicator of inflation used by the European Central Bank. Sections 2 to 4 of the paper look at the theory of inflation indexes that could be used as target indexes of inflation. A Consumer Price Index (CPI) emerges as perhaps the most useful target index. Four different approaches to index number theory are reviewed and the 'best' index number formula from each perspective is determined. Section 6 looks at the methodology of the HICP in the light of the previous sections. Section 7 looks at some of the difficult measurement problems that must be addressed in a CPI or an HICP. These problems include the treatment of quality change, substitution or representativity bias, chained versus fixed base indexes, the choice of formula at the lowest level of aggregation and the treatment of owner occupied housing and seasonal commodities. JEL Classification: C43, D91, E31, E52, E58
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Date of creation: Mar 2002
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Other versions of this item:
- W. Erwin Diewert, 2002. "Harmonized Indexes of Consumer Prices: Their Conceptual Foundations," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 138(IV), pages 547-637, December.
- C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
- C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data
- D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice and Growth - - - Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
- E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
- E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
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