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Indexing Government Programs for Changes in the Cost of Living

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  • Jorgenson, Dale W
  • Slesnick, Daniel T

Abstract

This article presents social cost-of-living indexes constructed from an econometric model of aggregate consumer behavior. The econometric price index has the same average inflation rate as a Tornqvist price index over the period 1947-95 but rises less rapidly after 1973. Group cost-of-living indexes are presented for white and nonwhite, male- and female-headed, and elderly and nonelderly households. Elderly households have experienced a slightly higher rate of inflation than the nonelderly since 1980. The authors recommend indexing government programs, such as Social Security, by social and group cost-of-living indexes rather than the Consumer Price Index.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorgenson, Dale W & Slesnick, Daniel T, 1999. "Indexing Government Programs for Changes in the Cost of Living," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(2), pages 170-181, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bes:jnlbes:v:17:y:1999:i:2:p:170-81
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    Cited by:

    1. Eduardo Ley, 2005. "Whose inflation? A characterization of the CPI plutocratic gap," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 634-646, October.
    2. 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.
    3. Maki, Atsushi, 2005. "The statistical price index as an approximation of the constant-utility price index: an empirical analysis using Japanese data sets," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 37-50, March.
    4. Dale W. Jorgenson, 1998. "Did We Lose the War on Poverty?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 79-96, Winter.
    5. Ricardo Reis, 2005. "A Dynamic Measure of Inflation," NBER Working Papers 11746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Reis, Ricardo, 2005. "A cost-of-living dynamic price index, with an application to indexing retirement accounts," CEPR Discussion Papers 5394, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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