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Calculating a Price Index for Families with Children: Implications for Measuring Trends in Child Poverty Rates

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  • Idson, Todd
  • Miller, Cynthia

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of varying consumption patterns for families with and without children on measured trends in child poverty. The authors first use data from consumer expenditure surveys to calculate price indices by family type. They next examine the effect of using these group-specific price indices on measured trends in child poverty. Although the authors find that, all else equal, children increase the cost of living, their calculations indicate that on average families with children experienced relatively lower inflation rates than families without children during the 1968 to 1987 period. While this result suggests that estimates of child poverty rates calculated using an average price index may have over-stated secular increases in child poverty, they find that child poverty rates calculated using a price index specific to families with children are not substantively different from those calculated using an average index for all families. Copyright 1999 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Idson, Todd & Miller, Cynthia, 1999. "Calculating a Price Index for Families with Children: Implications for Measuring Trends in Child Poverty Rates," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(2), pages 217-233, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:45:y:1999:i:2:p:217-33
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    Cited by:

    1. Pendakur, Krishna, 2002. "Taking prices seriously in the measurement of inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 47-69, October.

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