Measuring Retail Food Price Variation: Does the Data Source Matter?
The main area of focus in this paper is variation across regions and over time in the U.S. as estimated by different food price data sets. There are a variety of potential sources for food price data, but it is important to compare the relative strengths and weaknesses of the data sources in order to estimate the magnitude of the variation in average prices from the different sources. No one data source can account for all potential measurement problems, but by estimating average food prices for similar, or even identical products, one can test for whether there are significant differences in average food prices based on the data source.
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