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Measurement of retail output and the retail revolution


  • Leonard I. Nakamura


The computerization of retailing has made price dispersion a norm in the United States, so that any given list price or transactions price is an increasingly imperfect measure of a product's resource cost. As a consequence, measuring the real output of retailers has become increasingly difficult. Food retailing is used as a case study to examine data problems in retail productivity measurement. Crude direct measures of grocery store output suggest that the CPI for food-at-home may have been overstated by 1.4 percentage points annually from 1978 to 1996.

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  • Leonard I. Nakamura, 1998. "Measurement of retail output and the retail revolution," Working Papers 98-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:98-5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bliss, Christopher, 1988. "A Theory of Retail Pricing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(4), pages 375-391, June.
    2. Ellen Dulberger, 1993. "Sources of Price Decline in Computer Processors : Selected Electronic Components," NBER Chapters,in: Price Measurements and Their Uses, pages 103-124 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. C.J. Krizan & John Haltiwanger & Lucia Foster, 2002. "The Link Between Aggregate and Micro Productivity Growth: Evidence from Retail Trade," Working Papers 02-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Leonard I. Nakamura, 1998. "The retail revolution and food-price mismeasurement," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue May, pages 3-14.
    3. Charles Steindel, 1999. "The impact of reduced inflation estimates on real output and productivity growth," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 5(Jun).

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    Retail trade;

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