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A Failure in the Measurement of Inflation: Results From a Hedonic and Matched Experiment Using Scanner Data

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  • Silver, Mick
  • Heravi, Saeed

Abstract

Statistical offices use the matched models method to compile consumer price indices (CPIs) to measure inflation. The prices of a sample of models are recorded, and then price collectors visit the same stores each subsequent month to record the prices of the same matched sample of models. The matched models method is designed to control for quality changes. But new, unmatched models launched in subsequent months have their prices ignored as do old unmatched models no longer available. The paper uses retailer's bar-code scanner data on several consumer durables to show that serious sample degradation can take place and that the quality-adjusted prices of unmatched items differ from those of matched ones, leading to substantial underestimates of inflation. Hedonic indices use the whole sample. They are argued to be more useful to price measurement in markets with a rapid turnover of models in order to avoid the demonstrated bias. JEL Classification: C43, E43, O47
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  • Silver, Mick & Heravi, Saeed, 2005. "A Failure in the Measurement of Inflation: Results From a Hedonic and Matched Experiment Using Scanner Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 269-281, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bes:jnlbes:v:23:y:2005:p:269-281
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Melser & Iqbal A. Syed, 2017. "The product life cycle and sample representativity bias in price indexes," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(6), pages 573-586, February.
    2. Daniel Melser & Iqbal A. Syed, 2016. "Life Cycle Price Trends and Product Replacement: Implications for the Measurement of Inflation," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(3), pages 509-533, September.
    3. W. Erwin Diewert & Saeed Heravi & Mick Silver, 2009. "Hedonic Imputation versus Time Dummy Hedonic Indexes," NBER Chapters, in: Price Index Concepts and Measurement, pages 161-196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Diewert, Erwin, 2007. "Index Numbers," Economics working papers diewert-07-01-03-08-17-23, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 31 Jan 2007.
    5. Vincent Hoang & Takao Iida & Shigeru Matsumoto & Natsuki Watanabe & Clevo Wilson, 2014. "Market penetration of imported agricultural products: A hedonic analysis of the Japanese table wine market," Working Papers e083, Tokyo Center for Economic Research.
    6. MATSUMOTO Shigeru & OMATA Yukiko, 2015. "Consumer Valuations of Energy Efficiency Investments: The case of Vietnam's air conditioner market," Discussion papers 15063, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    7. Mick Silver, 2016. "How to Better Measure Hedonic Residential Property Price Indexes," IMF Working Papers 2016/213, International Monetary Fund.
    8. John S. Greenlees & Robert McClelland, 2011. "Does Quality Adjustment Matter for Technologically Stable Products? An Application to the CPI for Food," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 200-205, May.
    9. Vincent Hoang & Takao Iida & Shigeru Matsumoto & Natsuki Watanabe & Clevo Wilson, 2016. "Consumer’s comparison between local and imported organic products: a hedonic analysis of the Japanese table wine market," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 6(3), pages 405-415, December.
    10. Kevin J. Fox & Daniel Melser, 2014. "Non-Linear Pricing and Price Indexes: Evidence and Implications from Scanner Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(2), pages 261-278, June.
    11. Diewert, Erwin, 2007. "The Paris OECD-IMF Workshop on Real Estate Price Indexes: Conclusions and Future Directions," Economics working papers diewert-07-01-03-08-12-12, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 31 Jan 2007.
    12. Diewert, W. Erwin & Fox, Kevin J. & de Haan, Jan, 2016. "A newly identified source of potential CPI bias: Weekly versus monthly unit value price indexes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 169-172.
    13. Mick Silver, 2009. "The Hedonic Country Product Dummy Method and Quality Adjustments for Purchasing Power Parity Calculations," IMF Working Papers 2009/271, International Monetary Fund.
    14. John Galbraith & Greg Tkacz, 2007. "Electronic Transactions as High-Frequency Indicators of Economic Activity," Staff Working Papers 07-58, Bank of Canada.
    15. Diewert, Erwin, 2019. "Quality Adjustment and Hedonics: A Unified Approach," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2019-2, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 14 Mar 2019.
    16. de Haan, Jan & van der Grient, Heymerik A., 2011. "Eliminating chain drift in price indexes based on scanner data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(1), pages 36-46, March.
    17. Shigeru Matsumoto, 2018. "Consumer valuation of energy-saving features of residential air conditioners with hedonic and choice models," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 55(4), pages 1779-1806, December.
    18. Alex Isakov & Rodion Latypov & Andrey Repin & Egor Postolit & Alexey Evseev & Elena Sinelnikova-Muryleva, 2021. "Hard Numbers: Open Consumer Price Database," Russian Journal of Money and Finance, Bank of Russia, vol. 80(1), pages 104-119, March.
    19. Jan de Haan & Rens Hendriks & Michael Scholz, 2016. "A Comparison of Weighted Time-Product Dummy and Time Dummy Hedonic Indexes," Graz Economics Papers 2016-13, University of Graz, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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