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Using Engel curves to estimate CPI bias in a small, open, inflation-targeting economy

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  • John Gibson
  • Grant Scobie

Abstract

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) bias for New Zealand is calculated by estimating the food Engel curves for demographically similar households with the same level of CPI-deflated incomes at different points in time. For the 17 years from 1984 to 2001 the bias in the New Zealand CPI as a cost-of-living index averaged over 1% annually. This bias is similar to estimates for the US when the same method is used over a similar era. Thus, the claim of some statistical agencies that bias in their own CPI is less than the widely discussed bias in the US may not be supported. The estimated CPI bias justifies the initial choice of inflation target for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand but not the recent raising of the target.

Suggested Citation

  • John Gibson & Grant Scobie, 2010. "Using Engel curves to estimate CPI bias in a small, open, inflation-targeting economy," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(17), pages 1327-1335.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apfiec:v:20:y:2010:i:17:p:1327-1335 DOI: 10.1080/09603107.2010.491441
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    Cited by:

    1. Susan Olivia & John Gibson, 2013. "Using Engel curves to measure CPI bias for Indonesia," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(1), pages 85-101, April.
    2. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson & Miao Liu, 2016. "Are Chinese Growth and Inflation Too Smooth? Evidence from Engel Curves," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, pages 113-144.
    3. Almås, Ingvild & Johnsen, Åshild Auglænd, 2012. "The cost of living in China: Implications for inequality and poverty," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 21/2012, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    4. Chamon, Marcos & de Carvalho Filho, Irineu, 2014. "Consumption based estimates of urban Chinese growth," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 126-137.
    5. Gaddis,Isis, 2016. "Prices for poverty analysis in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7652, The World Bank.

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