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Post-Laspeyres; The Case for a New Formula for Compiling Consumer Price Indexes

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  • Paul A. Armknecht Jr.
  • Mick Silver

Abstract

Consumer price indexes (CPIs) are compiled at the higher (weighted) level using Laspeyres-type arithmetic averages. This paper questions the suitability of such formulas and considers two counterpart alternatives that use geometric averaging, the Geometric Young and the (price-updated) Geometric Lowe. The paper provides a formal decomposition and understanding of the differences between the two. Empirical results are provided using United States CPI data. The findings lead to an advocacy of variants of a hybrid formula suggested by Lent and Dorfman (2009) that substantially reduces bias from Laspeyres-type indexes.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul A. Armknecht Jr. & Mick Silver, 2012. "Post-Laspeyres; The Case for a New Formula for Compiling Consumer Price Indexes," IMF Working Papers 12/105, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/105
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Greenlees John S. & Williams Elliot, 2010. "Reconsideration of Weighting and Updating Procedures in the US CPI," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(6), pages 741-758, December.
    2. Vining, Daniel R, Jr & Elwertowski, Thomas C, 1976. "The Relationship between Relative Prices and the General Price Level," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 699-708, September.
    3. Friedman, Milton, 1977. "Nobel Lecture: Inflation and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 451-472, June.
    4. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1995. "Relative-Price Changes as Aggregate Supply Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 161-193.
    5. Reinsdorf, Marshall, 1994. "New Evidence on the Relation between Inflation and Price Dispersion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 720-731, June.
    6. Mick Silver & Christos Ioannidis, 2001. "Intercountry Differences in the Relationship between Relative Price Variability and Average Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 355-374, April.
    7. Balk, Bert M., 1983. "Does there exist a relation between inflation and relative price-change variability? : The effect of the aggregation level," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 173-180.
    8. Hercowitz, Zvi, 1982. "Money and price dispersion in the united states," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 25-37, July.
    9. Silver, Mick & Heravi, Saeed, 2007. "Why elementary price index number formulas differ: Evidence on price dispersion," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 874-883, October.
    10. Parks, Richard W, 1978. "Inflation and Relative Price Variability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 79-95, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ejores:v:264:y:2018:i:1:p:388-401 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Shang, Yizi & Lu, Shibao & Shang, Ling & Li, Xiaofei & Shi, Hongwang & Li, Wei, 2017. "Decomposition of industrial water use from 2003 to 2012 in Tianjin, China," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 53-61.
    3. Mick Silver, 2012. "Why House Price Indexes Differ; Measurement and Analysis," IMF Working Papers 12/125, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Jianchang Lu & Weiguo Fan & Ming Meng, 2015. "Empirical Research on China’s Carbon Productivity Decomposition Model Based on Multi-Dimensional Factors," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(4), pages 1-25, April.
    5. Wang, Minggang & Tian, Lixin & Xu, Hua & Li, Weiyu & Du, Ruijin & Dong, Gaogao & Wang, Jie & Gu, Jiani, 2017. "Systemic risk and spatiotemporal dynamics of the consumer market of China," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 473(C), pages 188-204.
    6. repec:eee:phsmap:v:490:y:2018:i:c:p:664-680 is not listed on IDEAS

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