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Regional Consumer Price Differences Within Germany Information Demand, Data Supply and the Role of the Consumer Price Index

  • Stefan Linz

    ()

    (Statistisches Bundesamt, Wiesbaden)

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    Every month the Consumer Price Index for Germany (CPI) provides comprehensive and detailed information regarding the price development over time. However, when differences in the price level across regions in Germany have to be analysed at a given point in time, sufficient information is not available at present. Interest in regional consumer price data is shown by both scientists and policy makers. Currently, this information demand is not met as regional consumer prices or regional price comparisons are not provided by the Federal Statistical Office in Germany. Data available from the German Consumer Price Index is suitable to follow the price development over time but cannot be used directly to compare price levels of different regions because the goods tracked may be different from region to region. The article first considers the information demand and gives an overview of existing price data. Its main part refers to an empirical study which was conducted to check if existing Consumer Price Index data can be used to calculate regional consumer price comparisons by ex-post selecting comparable products.

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    Article provided by Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics.

    Volume (Year): 230 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 6 (December)
    Pages: 814-831

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    Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:230:y:2010:i:6:p:814-831
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    1. Michael W.M. Roos, 2003. "Regional price levels in Germany," ERSA conference papers ersa03p511, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Krugman, Paul, 1998. "What's New about the New Economic Geography?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 7-17, Summer.
    3. Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-Francois Thisse, 2003. "Regional Specialization, Urban Hierarchy, and Commuting Costs," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-223, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    4. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Uwe Blien & Hermann Gartner & Heiko Stüber & Katja Wolf, 2009. "Regional price levels and the agglomeration wage differential in western Germany," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 71-88, March.
    6. Reinhold Kosfeld & Hans-Friedrich Eckey & Matthias Türck, 2008. "New economic geography and regional price level," Review of Regional Research, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 43-60, February.
    7. Jan Goebel & Joachim R. Frick & Markus M. Grabka, 2009. "Preisunterschiede mildern Einkommensgefälle zwischen West und Ost," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 76(51/52), pages 888-894.
    8. Robert A. Pollak, 1998. "The Consumer Price Index: A Research Agenda and Three Proposals," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 69-78, Winter.
    9. Jens Südekum, 2009. "Regional costs-of-living with congestion and amenity differences: an economic geography perspective," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 49-69, March.
    10. Christian Dreger & Reinhold Kosfeld, 2010. "Do Regional Price Levels Converge?," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 230(3), pages 274-286, June.
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