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Is There a Quality Bias in the Canadian CPI? Evidence from Micro Data

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  • Oleksiy Kryvtsov

Abstract

Rising consumer prices may reflect shifts by consumers to new higher-priced products, mostly for durable and semi-durable goods. I apply Bils’ (2009) methodology to newly available Canadian consumer price data for non-shelter goods and services to estimate how price increases can be divided between quality growth and price inflation. I find that less than one-third of observed price increases during model changeovers should be attributed to quality growth. This implies overall price inflation close to inflation measured by the official index. I conclude that, according to Bils’ methodology, the quality bias is not an important source of potential mismeasurement of CPI inflation in Canada.

Suggested Citation

  • Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2013. "Is There a Quality Bias in the Canadian CPI? Evidence from Micro Data," Staff Working Papers 13-24, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:13-24
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mark Bils, 2009. "Do Higher Prices for New Goods Reflect Quality Growth or Inflation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 637-675.
    2. Ruiz-Castillo, Javier & Ley, Eduardo & Izquierdo, Mario, 2002. "Distributional aspects of the quality change bias in the CPI: evidence from Spain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 137-144, June.
    3. Timothy Beatty & Erling Røed Larsen, 2005. "Using Engel curves to estimate bias in the Canadian CPI as a cost of living index," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 482-499, May.
    4. James Rossiter, 2005. "Measurement Bias in the Canadian Consumer Price Index," Staff Working Papers 05-39, Bank of Canada.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation and prices; Potential output;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • M11 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Production Management
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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