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Scanner data, time aggregation and the construction of price indexes

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

We examine the impact of time aggregation on price change estimates for 19 supermarket item categories using scanner data. Time aggregation choices lead to a difference in price change estimates for chained indexes which ranged from 0.28% to 29.73% for a superlative index and an incredible 14.88%-46,463.71% for a non-superlative index. Traditional index number theory appears to break down with weekly data, even for superlative indexes. Monthly and (in some cases) quarterly time aggregation were insufficient to eliminate downward drift in superlative indexes. To eliminate drift, a novel adaptation of a multilateral index number method is proposed.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 161 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 24-35

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:161:y:2011:i:1:p:24-35
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  1. 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.
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  7. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
  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. 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.
  12. 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.
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