Measuring inflation under rationing: A virtual price approach
AbstractThe presence of rationing or more generally of the situations of constrained demand can make the traditional methods of measuring inflation questionable and give an erroneous image of the reality. In this paper, we use the virtual price approach (Neary, Roberts, 1980) to estimate the real inflation level in a centrally planned economy (CPE) with administrated prices. In the first part of the paper, we discuss various methods used in CPE's to evaluate the real level of inflation by the market disequilibrium indicators or proxies which take into account rationing and incomplete information. In the second part of the paper, we apply the virtual price approach to compute the real inflationist gap between demand and supply under rationing in Poland's centrally planned economy with administrated prices in 1965-1980 period. We estimate for this period the model of consumer behaviour under rationing and recover the virtual prices reflecting the real cost of purchasing rationed goods following Neary, Roberts' (1980) and Barten's (1994) methodology. The results show a very large difference between official and virtual price of food considered as the most rationed good (up to 500%). The natural experiment of shift from the centrally planned economy to the market economy (or from rationing to market equilibrium) observed in Poland during the “shock therapy” (1990) confirms the scale of estimated by the model gap between the official (administrated) and market prices.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number 14001.
Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
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Consumer demand; rationing; inflation; virtual prices.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- D45 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Rationing; Licensing
- E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
- P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2014-02-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBA-2014-02-02 (Central Banking)
- NEP-MAC-2014-02-02 (Macroeconomics)
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.:
- Neary, J. P. & Roberts, K. W. S., 1980.
"The theory of household behaviour under rationing,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 25-42, January.
- Neary, J.P & Roberts, K.W.S, 1978. "The Theory of Household Behaviour under Rationing," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 132, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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