IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/applec/v42y2010i1p23-36.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Price dispersion and price indexes

Author

Listed:
  • Vera Lucia Fava

Abstract

The traditional theory of price index numbers is based on the law of one price. But in the real world, we frequently observe the existence of an equilibrium price dispersion instead of one price of equilibrium. This article discusses the effects of price dispersion on two price indexes: the cost of living index and the consumer price index. With price dispersion and consumer searching for the lowest price, these indexes cannot be interpreted as deterministic indicators, but as stochastic indicators, and they can be biased if price dispersion is not taken into account. A measure for the bias of the consumer price index is proposed and the article ends with an estimation of the bias based on data obtained from the consumer price index calculated for the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, from January 1988 through December 2004. The period analysed is very interesting, because it exhibits different inflationary environments: high levels and high volatility of the rates of inflation with great price dispersion until July 1994 and low and relatively stable rates of inflation with prices less dispersed after August 1994.

Suggested Citation

  • Vera Lucia Fava, 2010. "Price dispersion and price indexes," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(1), pages 23-36.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:42:y:2010:i:1:p:23-36
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840701579168
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00036840701579168
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Spanos,Aris, 1986. "Statistical Foundations of Econometric Modelling," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521269124, March.
    2. Matthew D. Shapiro & David W. Wilcox, 1996. "Mismeasurement in the Consumer Price Index: An Evaluation," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 93-154 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Elena Lasarte Navamuel & Dusan Paredes & Esteban Fernández Vázquez, 2012. "A true cost of living index for Spain using a microeconomic approach and censored data," Documentos de Trabajo en Economia y Ciencia Regional 26, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Chile, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2012.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:42:y:2010:i:1:p:23-36. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/RAEC20 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.