Basic Needs Budgets Revisited: Does the U.S. Consumer Price Index Overestimate the Changes in the Cost of Living for Low-Income Families?
The consumer price index (CPI) is used in the United States to measure changes in the cost of living. Since the CPI is used to index the official U.S. poverty guidelines and to establish eligibility criteria for various public assistance programs, a change in the methodology used to calculate the CPI would impact the accuracy of poverty statistics and, more importantly, poor families' access to public assistance. Since the majority of these poor families are headed by women, the CPI becomes a critical issue for feminist economics. In December 1996 the United States Senate Finance Committee's Advisory Commission to Study the Consumer Price Index issued its final report which concluded that use of the consumer price index results in widespread substantial overindexing. This paper uses the basic needs budgets (BNB) to evaluate changes in the cost of living for low-income families. The author compares the cost of the BNBs for single-parent families in 1983 and 1996 and finds that the cost of the bundle of goods and services included in the BNBs has increased faster than the CPI. The author finds similar results for two-parent families.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 4 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RFEC20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/RFEC20|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Trudi J. Renwick & Barbara R. Bergmann, 1993. "A Budget-Based Definition of Poverty: With an Application to Single-Parent Families," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-24.
- Julie A. Nelson, 1995. "Feminism and Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 131-148, Spring.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:4:y:1998:i:3:p:129-142. 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: (Michael McNulty)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.