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Spatial Comparisons of Prices and Expenditure in a Heterogeneous Country: Methodology with Application to India

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  • Amita Majumder
  • Ranjan Ray
  • Kompal Sinha

Abstract

This study addresses two significant limitations in the literature on cross-country expenditure comparisons: (a) treatment of all countries, large and small, as single entities with no spatial differences inside the countries, and (b) use of Divisia price indices, rather than preference based “exact price” indices, in the expenditure comparisons. This paper proposes alternative preference consistent methods for estimating spatial price differences in a large heterogeneous country such as India. Unlike the conventional price indices, the use of demand systems based methods allows the incorporation of price induced substitution effects between items. The paper illustrates the usefulness of the methodology by using the “exact” spatial price indices, in conjunction with the inequality sensitive welfare measure due to Sen, to rank the Indian states and examine changes in ranking duirng one of the most significant periods in independent India. The results have methodological and empirical implications that extend much beyond India.

Suggested Citation

  • Amita Majumder & Ranjan Ray & Kompal Sinha, 2012. "Spatial Comparisons of Prices and Expenditure in a Heterogeneous Country: Methodology with Application to India," Monash Economics Working Papers 19-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2012-19
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    File URL: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/research/papers/2012/1912spatialcomparisonsmajumderraysinha.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. D. Coondoo & A. Majumder & R. Ray, 2004. "A Method of Calculating Regional Consumer Price Differentials with Illustrative Evidence from India," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(1), pages 51-68, March.
    2. Dipankor Coondoo & Amita Majumder & Somnath Chattopadhyay, 2011. "Estimating Spatial Consumer Price Indices Through Engel Curve Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(1), pages 138-155, March.
    3. Ingvild Almas, 2012. "International Income Inequality: Measuring PPP Bias by Estimating Engel Curves for Food," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 1093-1117, April.
    4. McKelvey, Christopher, 2011. "Price, unit value, and quality demanded," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 157-169, July.
    5. John Gibson & Scott Rozelle, 2005. "Prices and Unit Values in Poverty Measurement and Tax Reform Analysis," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 69-97.
    6. D. S. Prasada Rao & Alicia Rambaldi & Howard Doran, 2010. "Extrapolation Of Purchasing Power Parities Using Multiple Benchmarks And Auxiliary Information: A New Approach," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(s1), pages 59-98, June.
    7. Amita Majumder & Ranjan Ray & Kompal Sinha, 2011. "Estimating Intra Country and Cross Country Purchasing Power Parities from Household Expenditure Data Using Single Equation and Complete Demand Systems Approach: India and Vietnam," Monash Economics Working Papers 34-11, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    8. Lancaster, Geoffrey & Ray, Ranjan, 1998. "Comparison of Alternative Models of Household Equivalence Scales: The Australian Evidence on Unit Record Data," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 74(224), pages 1-14, March.
    9. Hill, Robert J., 2000. "Measuring substitution bias in international comparisons based on additive purchasing power parity methods," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 145-162, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:lrk:eeaart:36_1_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Amita Majumder & Ranjan Ray, 2015. "Estimates of Spatial Prices in India and their Sensitivity to Alternative Estimation Methods and Choice of Items," Monash Economics Working Papers 11-15, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    3. Amita Majumder & Ranjan Ray & Sattwik Santra, 2016. "Global and Country Poverty Rates, Welfare Rankings of the Regions and Purchasing Power Parities: How Robust Are the Results?," Monash Economics Working Papers 11-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    4. Abhimanyu Dadu & Namrata Gulati, 2014. "Inequality, neighborhoods and variation in prices," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-001, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    5. Namrata Gulati & Abhimanyu Dadu, 2014. "Inequality, Neighbourhoods and Variation in Prices," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(3), pages 1463-1484.
    6. Majumder,Amita & Ray,Ranjan & Santra,Sattwik, 2015. "Preferences, purchasing power parity, and inequality : analytical framework, propositions, and empirical evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7395, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    True Cost of Living Index; Inequality Sensitive Real Expenditure Comparisons; Spatial Price Indices; Hasse Diagrams; Unit Values.;

    JEL classification:

    • C18 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Methodolical Issues: General
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy

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