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An Overview of Experimental U.S. Consumer Price Indexes


  • Moulton, Brent R
  • Stewart, Kenneth J


The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has come under intense scrutiny in recent years. To help assess potential differences between what the CPI measures and how it is used for various purposes, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has created a series of experimental price indexes. This article contrasts how the CPI is currently constructed with those experimental indexes. Specifically, experimental CPIs have been constructed for two population groups, older Americans and poor Americans. In addition, experimental geometric-mean and superlative indexes have been developed that move the CPI away from its traditional 'fixed-market-basket' concept.

Suggested Citation

  • Moulton, Brent R & Stewart, Kenneth J, 1999. "An Overview of Experimental U.S. Consumer Price Indexes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(2), pages 141-151, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bes:jnlbes:v:17:y:1999:i:2:p:141-51

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jerry A. Hausman, 1996. "Valuation of New Goods under Perfect and Imperfect Competition," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of New Goods, pages 207-248 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hausman, Jerry A & Newey, Whitney K, 1995. "Nonparametric Estimation of Exact Consumers Surplus and Deadweight Loss," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1445-1476, November.
    3. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    4. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
    5. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Economics of New Goods," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bres96-1, January.
    6. Pollak, Robert A., 1989. "The Theory of the Cost-of-Living Index," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195058703, June.
    7. Hausman, Jerry A, 1981. "Exact Consumer's Surplus and Deadweight Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 662-676, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lieu, Pang-Tien & Liang, Jung-Hui & Chen, Jui-Hui, 2008. "Consumer preferences and cost of living in Taiwan," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 224-235, June.
    2. repec:spr:stmapp:v:11:y:2002:i:3:d:10.1007_bf02509834 is not listed on IDEAS

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