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A Dynamic Measure of Inflation

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  • Ricardo Reis

Abstract

This paper shows that conventional measures of cost-of-living inflation, based on static models of consumption, suffer from two problems. The first is an intertemporal substitution bias, as these measures neglect the ability of consumers to borrow and lend in response to price changes. The second problem is the omission of intertemporal prices, which capture relevant relative prices for a consumer who lives for many periods. The paper proposes a dynamic price index (DPI) that solves these problems. Theoretically, it shows that the DPI is forward-looking, responds by more to persistent shocks, includes assets prices, and distinguishes between durable and non-durable goods' prices. A constructed DPI for the United States from 1970 to 2008 differs markedly from the CPI, it is close to serially uncorrelated, it is mostly driven by the prices of houses and bonds, and is twice as high as the CPI in 2008.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11746.

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Date of creation: Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11746

Note: AG ME PE
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Cited by:
  1. Gregor W. Smith, 2009. "The Missing Links: Better Measures of Inflation and Inflation Expectations in Canada," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 287, April.
  2. Mark W. Watson & Ricardo Reis, 2007. "Measuring changes in the value of the numeraire," 2007 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 324, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Wojciech Charemza & Imran Husssain Shah, 2013. "Stability price index, core inflation and output volatility," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(8), pages 737-741, May.

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