IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedpwp/04-17.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The CPI for rents: a case of understated inflation

Author

Listed:
  • Theodore M. Crone
  • Leonard I. Nakamura
  • Richard Voith

Abstract

Until the end of 1977, the method used in the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) to measure rent inflation tended to omit rent increases when units had a change of tenants or were vacant. Since such units typically had more rapid increases in rents than average units, this response bias biased inflation estimates downward. Beginning in 1978, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) implemented a series of methodological changes that reduced response bias but substantial bias remained until 1985. We set up a model of response bias, parameterize it, and test it using a BLS microdata set for rents. We conclude that from 1940 to 1985 the CPI inflation rate for rent most likely was understated by 1.4 percentage points annually in U.S. data. We construct an improved rental inflation series for 1940 to 2000; at the starting point in 1940, the revised index is 54 percent as large as the official CPI.

Suggested Citation

  • Theodore M. Crone & Leonard I. Nakamura & Richard Voith, 2004. "The CPI for rents: a case of understated inflation," Working Papers 04-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:04-17
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.philadelphiafed.org/research-and-data/publications/working-papers/2004/wp04-17.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Genesove, 2003. "The Nominal Rigidity of Apartment Rents," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 844-853, November.
    2. Joshua H. Gallin, 2004. "The long-run relationship between house prices and rents," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-50, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Steven Ruggles, 2015. "Patriarchy, Power, and Pay: The Transformation of American Families, 1800–2015," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(6), pages 1797-1823, December.
    2. Theodore M. Crone & Leonard I. Nakamura & Richard Voith, 2004. "Hedonic estimates of the cost of housing services: rental and owner-occupied units," Working Papers 04-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    3. Rondinelli, Concetta & Veronese, Giovanni, 2011. "Housing rent dynamics in Italy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 540-548.
    4. Thesia I. Garner & Randal Verbrugge, 2007. "Puzzling Divergence of U.S. Rents and User Costs, 1980-2004: Summary and Extensions," Working Papers 409, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumer price indexes ; Rent ; Inflation (Finance);

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:04-17. 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: (Beth Paul). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbphus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.