Is There a Quality Bias in the Canadian CPI? Evidence from Micro Data
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.
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- Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Larsen, Erling Roed, 2004.
"Using Engel Curves To Estimate Bias In The Canadian Cpi As A Cost Of Living Index,"
15836, University of British Columbia, Food and Resource Economics.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mark Bils, 2009. "Do Higher Prices for New Goods Reflect Quality Growth or Inflation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 637-675, May.
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