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The Boskin Commission Report After a Decade: After-life or Requiem?

Author

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  • Ernst R. Berndt

Abstract

The author provides a political economy interpretation of the rise and fall of public interest in price measurement, placing these developments in the context of the attempt by Congress and the White House to deal with growing deficits in the early to mid-1990s. He provides a detailed discussion of initiatives since the Boskin Commission, such as the National Academy of Sciences panel, to improve CPI measurement. The author examines the thorny issue of the CPI for health care, with particular reference to the Boskin Commission recommendation that BLS move from pricing health care inputs to pricing health care outcomes. He concludes that the BLS has responded constructively to the recommendations from the various price measurement initiatives. By implementing many of the methodological changes suggested, the BLS has reduced net CPI inaccuracy and increased professional confidence in the reliability of the CPI.

Suggested Citation

  • Ernst R. Berndt, 2006. "The Boskin Commission Report After a Decade: After-life or Requiem?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 12, pages 61-73, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:12:y:2006:5
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    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/ipm/12/IPM-12-Berndt-e.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2009. "Five Decades of Consumption and Income Poverty," NBER Working Papers 14827, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    United States; Boskin Commission; Boskin; Measurement; Prices; Consumer Price Index; CPI; Bias; CPI Bias; Consumer Price Index Bias;

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes

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