Rents have been rising, not falling, in the postwar period
Until the end of 1977, the U.S. consumer price index for rents tended to omit rent increases when units had a change of tenants or were vacant, biasing inflation estimates downward. Beginning in 1978, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) implemented a series of methodological changes that reduced this nonresponse bias, but substantial bias remained until 1985. The authors set up a model of nonresponse bias, parameterize it, and test it using a BLS microdata set for rents. From 1940 to 1985, the official BLS CPI-W price index for tenant rents rose 3.6 percent annually; the authors argue that it should have risen 5.0 percent annually. Rents in 1940 should be only half as much as their official relative price; this has important consequences for historical measures of rent-house-price ratios and for the growth of real consumption. (Revision forthcoming in Review of Economics and Statistics.)
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Theodore M. Crone & Leonard I. Nakamura & Richard Voith, 2001. "Measuring American rents: a revisionist history," Working Papers 01-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Perron, Pierre & Rodriguez, Gabriel, 2003.
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- Elliott, Graham, 1999. "Efficient Tests for a Unit Root When the Initial Observation Is Drawn from Its Unconditional Distribution," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 767-783, August.
- Graham Elliott & Thomas J. Rothenberg & James H. Stock, 1992. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," NBER Technical Working Papers 0130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Tom Doan, "undated". "GLSDETREND: RATS procedure to perform local to unity GLS detrending," Statistical Software Components RTS00077, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Tom Doan, "undated". "ERSTEST: RATS procedure to perform Elliott-Rothenberg-Stock unit root tests," Statistical Software Components RTS00066, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Ariel Pakes, 2003. "A Reconsideration of Hedonic Price Indexes with an Application to PC's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1578-1596, December.
- Ariel Pakes, 2002. "A Reconsideration of Hedonic Price Indices with an Application to PC's," NBER Working Papers 8715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Genesove, 2003. "The Nominal Rigidity of Apartment Rents," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 844-853, November.
- David Genesove, 1999. "The Nominal Rigidity of Apartment Rents," NBER Working Papers 7137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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)