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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- 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.
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- David Genesove, 2003.
"The Nominal Rigidity of Apartment Rents,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 844-853, November.
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- Elliott, Graham & Rothenberg, Thomas J & Stock, James H, 1996.
"Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root,"
Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 813-36, July.
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- Tom Doan, . "GLSDETREND: RATS procedure to perform local to unity GLS detrending," Statistical Software Components RTS00077, Boston College Department of Economics.
- 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.).
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