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Consumers' Opinion of Inflation Bias Due to Quality Improvements in Transition in the Czech Republic

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  • Jan Hanousek
  • Randall K. Filer

Abstract

Substantial understatement of the degree of quality improvement during transition, and, therefore, a substantial overstatement of inflation rates has resulted in a serious downward bias in estimates of the rate of growth of post-communist economies. The move to free markets has apparently improved consumers’ welfare more by improving what they can purchase than by increasing how much they can purchase. Examining 63 products, focus group respondents in the Czech Republic reported that if they were to purchase the 1990 quality product today they would only be willing to do so at a average of 54 per cent of the current price for the current quality product. This implies that the actual increase in prices for the decade for these products 66 per cent instead of the official 139 per cent. Overall, mismeasurement of quality changes may have understated Czech growth rates during the first decade after communism by as much as 5 percentage point per year.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Hanousek & Randall K. Filer, 2001. "Consumers' Opinion of Inflation Bias Due to Quality Improvements in Transition in the Czech Republic," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp184, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp184
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Balázs Égert & László Halpern & Ronald MacDonald, 2006. "Equilibrium Exchange Rates in Transition Economies: Taking Stock of the Issues ," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 257-324, April.
    2. Jan Babecký & Fabrizio Coricelli & Roman Horváth, 2009. "Assessing Inflation Persistence: Micro Evidence on an Inflation Targeting Economy," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 59(2), pages 102-127, June.
    3. Filer, Randall K. & Hanousek, Jan, 2002. "Survey-Based Estimates of Biases in Consumer Price Indices during Transition: Evidence from Romania," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 476-487, September.
    4. Égert, Balázs, 2004. "Assessing equilibrium exchange rates in CEE acceding countries : can we have DEER with BEER without FEER? : A critical survey of the literature," BOFIT Discussion Papers 1/2004, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    5. Kovács, Ilona, 2003. "A fogyasztói árindex torzító tényezői
      [Distorting factors in the consumer price index]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 702-719.
    6. Irena Szarowská, 2008. "Financing Of Public Services Through Public Private Partnership Projects," JOURNAL STUDIA UNIVERSITATIS BABES-BOLYAI NEGOTIA, Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Business.
    7. Jan Hanousek & Randall K. Filer, 2003. "Substitution Biases in Price Indexes during Transition," Development and Comp Systems 0306002, EconWPA.
    8. Olimpia State & Gabriela Tigu & Claudia - Elena Tuclea, 2008. "Etude De Marché Sur La Culture Des Organisations De L’Industrie Touristique," JOURNAL STUDIA UNIVERSITATIS BABES-BOLYAI NEGOTIA, Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Business.
    9. Randall K. Filer & Jan Hanousek, 2002. "Data Watch: Research Data from Transition Economies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 225-240, Winter.
    10. Randall K. Filer & Jan Hanousek, 2003. "Inflationary Bias in Mid to Late Transition Czech Republic," Development and Comp Systems 0306001, EconWPA.
    11. Jan Hanousek & Randall K. Filer, 2001. "Evaluating Imperfections and Biases in Price Indexes during Transition," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp186, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation Bias; Quality Change; Transition Economies;

    JEL classification:

    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • P24 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - National Income, Product, and Expenditure; Money; Inflation

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