IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The use of Robust Estimators as Measures of Core Inflation

  • L. Aucremanne
Registered author(s):

    This paper examines robust estimators of core inflation for Belgian historical CPI data, and for euro area Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices. Evidence of fat tails in the cross-sections of price changes is provided by traditional measures, as well as by a robust measure of the tail weights that is not vulnerable to the masking phenomenon. Trimmed means are considered in the first instance. We introduce a new estimator where the optimal trimming percentage is the lowest percentage for which the hypothesis of normality of the trimmed samples cannot be rejected on the basis of the Jarque-Bera statistic. Two variants are considered one with a constant and one with a time-varying optimal trimming percentage. The latter has a higher breakdown point. Symmetric and asymmetric trimming are considered as well. Another robust estimator, the one-step Huber-type skipped mean, which is less vulnerable to the masking phenomenon, is also examined. It is shown that the robust estimators outperform the traditional core inflation measures found in the literature. However, as traditional measures, they lag rather than lead observed inflation. This was particularly so in the 70s and the 80s when the oil price shocks had substantial second-round effects on Belgian inflation.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank in its series DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) with number 61.

    in new window

    Length: 66 pages
    Date of creation: 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dnb:staffs:61
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Postbus 98, 1000 AB Amsterdam
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Vega, Juan Luis & Wynne, Mark A., 2001. "An evaluation of some measures of core inflation for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0053, European Central Bank.
    2. Aucremanne, L., 2000. "The Use of Robust Estimators as Measures of Core Inflation," Papers 2, Warwick - Development Economics Research Centre.
    3. Ball, Laurence & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1999. "Interpreting the Correlation Between Inflation and the Skewness of Relative Prices: A Comment on Bryan and Cecchetti," Scholarly Articles 3415439, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    4. Pedro Duarte Neves & Luís Morais Sarmento & Carlos Robalo Marques, 1999. "Evaluating core inflation indicators," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    5. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1992. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 4089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1996. "Measuring Short-Run Inflation for Central Bankers," NBER Working Papers 5786, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Michael F. Bryan & Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1994. "Measuring Core Inflation," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy, pages 195-219 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Wynne, Mark A., 1999. "Core inflation: a review of some conceptual issues," Working Paper Series 0005, European Central Bank.
    9. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:1:p:161-93 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Michael F. Bryan & Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1996. "Inflation and the Distribution of Price Changes," NBER Working Papers 5793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Nathan S. Balke & Mark A. Wynne, 1996. "An equilibrium analysis of relative price changes and aggregate inflation," Working Papers 9609, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    12. Carlos Robalo Marques & João Machado Mota, 2000. "Using the asymmetric trimmed mean as a core inflation indicator," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    13. Bryan, Michael-F & Cecchetti, Stephen-G, 1999. "The Monthly Measurement of Core Inflation in Japan," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 17(1), pages 77-101, May.
    14. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1999. "Interpreting The Correlation Between Inflation And The Skewness Of Relative Prices: A Comment On Bryan And," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 197-198, May.
    15. Meyler, Aidan, 1999. "A Statistical Measure Of Core Inflation," Research Technical Papers 2/RT/99, Central Bank of Ireland.
    16. Thérèse Laflèche, 1997. "Statistical measures of the trend rate of inflation," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 1997(Autumn), pages 29-47.
    17. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1992. "Relative-Price Changes as Aggregate Supply Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Oosterhoff, J., 1994. "Trimmed mean or sample median?," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 401-409, August.
    19. Franck Sédillot & Hervé Le Bihan, 2002. "Implementing and interpreting indicators of core inflation: the case of France," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 473-497.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dnb:staffs:61. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rob Vet)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.