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Calculating the Candy Price Index: A Classroom Inflation Experiment


  • Denise Hazlett
  • Cynthia D. Hill


In this classroom experiment, students develop a price index based on candy-purchasing decisions made by members of their class. They use their index to practice calculating inflation rates and to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the consumer price index (CPI). Instructors can use the experiment as an introduction to the topic of inflation and how it is measured. The exercise also provides a concrete example of the sources of bias in the CPI, promoting discussion of the measures the Bureau of Labor Statistics has taken to reduce bias. The experiment, including follow-up discussion, fits into a 50-minute class period. The authors and other professors have used the exercise in introductory and intermediate macroeconomics courses, in classes of 10 to 135 students.

Suggested Citation

  • Denise Hazlett & Cynthia D. Hill, 2003. "Calculating the Candy Price Index: A Classroom Inflation Experiment," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 214-223, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:34:y:2003:i:3:p:214-223
    DOI: 10.1080/00220480309595216

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    Cited by:

    1. David T. Mitchell & Robert P. Rebelein & Patricia H. Schneider & Nicole B. Simpson & Eric Fisher, 2009. "A Classroom Experiment on Exchange Rate Determination with Purchasing Power Parity," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(2), pages 150-165, April.

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