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The retail revolution and food-price mismeasurement

Listed author(s):
  • Leonard I. Nakamura

If a product sells for $3 this week at the local supermarket and $2 next week, what is the "real" price? What if that same product has a different price at a different store? Thanks to scanner technology, food prices differ a lot these days because they can be changed quickly and easily. How do our official statistics take these price movements into account? Not too well, according to Leonard Nakamura. In this article, he describes the retail revolution of recent years and how it has led to mismeasurement of food prices

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its journal Business Review.

Volume (Year): (1998)
Issue (Month): May ()
Pages: 3-14

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpbr:y:1998:i:may:p:3-14
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  1. Bliss, Christopher, 1988. "A Theory of Retail Pricing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(4), pages 375-391, June.
  2. Brent R. Moulton, 1996. "Bias in the Consumer Price Index: What Is the Evidence?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 159-177, Fall.
  3. Marshall Reinsdorf, 1993. "The Effect of Outlet Price Differentials on the U.S. Consumer Price Index," NBER Chapters,in: Price Measurements and Their Uses, pages 227-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Daniel Levy & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Robert Venable, 1997. "The Magnitude of Menu Costs: Direct Evidence from Large U. S. Supermarket Chains," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 791-824.
  5. Leonard I. Nakamura, 1998. "Measurement of retail output and the retail revolution," Working Papers 98-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  6. Leonard I. Nakamura, 1995. "Measuring inflation in a high-tech age," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Nov, pages 13-25.
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