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Scanner Data, Time Aggregation and the Construction of Price Indexes

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  • Diewert, Erwin
  • Fox, Kevin J.
  • Ivancic, Lorraine

Abstract

The impact of weekly, monthly and quarterly time aggregation on estimates of price change is examined for nineteen different supermarket item categories over a fifteen month period using scanner data. We find that time aggregation choices (the choice of a weekly, monthly or quarterly unit value concept for prices) have a considerable impact on estimates of price change. When chained indexes are used, the difference in price change estimates can be huge, ranging from 0.28% to 29.73% for a superlative (Fisher) index and an incredible 14.88% to 46,463.71% for a non-superlative (Laspeyres) index. The results suggest that traditional index number theory breaks down when weekly data with severe price bouncing are used, even for superlative indexes. Monthly and (in some cases even) quarterly time aggregation were found to be insufficient to eliminate downward drift in superlative indexes. In order to eliminate chain drift, multilateral index number methods are adapted to provide drift free measures of price change.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vancouver School of Economics in its series Economics working papers with number erwin_diewert-2009-48.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 22 Sep 2009
Date of revision: 22 Sep 2009
Handle: RePEc:ubc:bricol:erwin_diewert-2009-48

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Web page: http://www.economics.ubc.ca/

Related research

Keywords: Price indexes; aggregation; scanner data; chain drift; superlative indexes; unit values; multilateral index number methods; rolling window GEKS; rolli;

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References

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  1. W. Erwin Diewert, 1999. "Axiomatic and Economic Approaches to International Comparisons," NBER Chapters, in: International and Interarea Comparisons of Income, Output, and Prices, pages 13-107 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Diewert, W Erwin, 1978. "Superlative Index Numbers and Consistency in Aggregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 883-900, July.
  3. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
  4. Drechsler, Laszlo, 1973. "Weighting of Index Numbers in Multilateral International Comparisons," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 19(1), pages 17-34, March.
  5. Mary F. Kokoski & Brent R. Moulton & Kimberly D. Zieschang, 1999. "Interarea Price Comparisons for Heterogeneous Goods and Several Levels of Commodity Aggregation," NBER Chapters, in: International and Interarea Comparisons of Income, Output, and Prices, pages 123-169 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. W. Erwin Diewert, 1995. "Axiomatic and Economic Approaches to Elementary Price Indexes," NBER Working Papers 5104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "Multilateral Comparisons of Output, Input, and Productivity Using Superlative Index Numbers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(365), pages 73-86, March.
  8. William J. Hawkes & Frank W. Piotrowski, 2003. "Using Scanner Data to Improve the Quality of Measurement in the Consumer Price Index," NBER Chapters, in: Scanner Data and Price Indexes, pages 17-38 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hill, Robert J., 2006. "Superlative index numbers: not all of them are super," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 25-43, January.
  10. Reinsdorf, Marshall B, 1999. "Using Scanner Data to Construct CPI Basic Component Indexes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(2), pages 152-60, April.
  11. Kravis, Irving B, 1984. "Comparative Studies of National Incomes and Prices," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 1-39, March.
  12. Robert C. Feenstra & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2001. "High-Frequency Substitution and the Measurement of Price Indexes," NBER Working Papers 8176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Diewert, Erwin & Shimizu, Chihiro, 2013. "Residential Property Price Indexes for Tokyo," HIT-REFINED Working Paper Series 3, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Berka, Martin & Devereux, Michael B. & Rudolph, Thomas, 2011. "Price setting in a leading Swiss online supermarket," Working Paper Series 1685, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
  3. von der Lippe, Peter, 2012. "Notes on GEKS and RGEKS indices," MPRA Paper 42730, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Abe, Naohito & Moriguchi, Chiaki & Inakura, Noriko, 2014. "The Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake on Commodity Prices: New Evidence from High-Frequency Scanner Data," Research Center for Price Dynamics Working Paper Series 12, Research Center for Price Dynamics, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  5. Lorraine Ivancic & Kevin J. Fox, 2010. "Can Dissimilarity Indexes Resolve the Issue of When to Chain Price Indexes?," Discussion Papers 2010-16, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  6. , & Diewert, Erwin, 2014. "An Empirical Illustration of Index Construction using Israeli Data on Vegetables," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2014-11, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 11 Mar 2014.
  7. Kevin J. Fox & Iqbal A. Syed, 2014. "Price Discounts and the Measurement of Inflation," Discussion Papers 2014-05, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  8. Kota Watanabe & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2014. "We construct a Törnqvist daily price index using Japanese point of sale (POS) scannerdata spanning from 1988 to 2013. We find the following. First, the POS based inflation rate tends to be about 0.," CARF F-Series CARF-F-342, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  9. Kota Watanabe & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2014. "Estimating Daily Inflation Using Scanner Data: A Progress Report," UTokyo Price Project Working Paper Series 020, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Economics.
  10. Marcelo Delajara & José Antonio Murillo Garza, 2012. "Weekday with Low Prices: Evidence on Daily Seasonality of Foods, Beverages, and Tobacco Prices," Working Papers 2012-09, Banco de México.
  11. Diewert, W. Erwin & Nishimura , Kiyohiko & Shimizu, Chihiro & Watanabe, Tsutomu, 2014. "Residential Property Price Indexes for Japan: An Outline of the Japanese Official RPPI," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2014-17, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 27 Mar 2014.
  12. Abe, Naohito & Moriguchi, Chiaki & Inakura, Noriko, 2012. "The Great East Japan Earthquake and its Short-run Effects on Household Purchasing Behavior," Research Center for Price Dynamics Working Paper Series 2, Research Center for Price Dynamics, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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