IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/27144.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Measuring Real Consumption and CPI Bias under Lockdown Conditions

Author

Listed:
  • W. Erwin Diewert
  • Kevin J. Fox

Abstract

Millions of goods and services are now unavailable in many countries due to the current coronavirus pandemic, dramatically impacting on the construction of key economic statistics used for informing policy. This situation is unprecedented; hence methods to address it have not previously been developed. Current advice to national statistical offices from the IMF, Eurostat and the UN is shown to result in downward bias in the CPI and upward bias in real consumption. We conclude that the only way to produce a meaningful CPI within the lockdown period is through establishing a continuous consumer expenditure survey.

Suggested Citation

  • W. Erwin Diewert & Kevin J. Fox, 2020. "Measuring Real Consumption and CPI Bias under Lockdown Conditions," NBER Working Papers 27144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27144
    Note: PR
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w27144.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert J. Hill, 2004. "Constructing Price Indexes across Space and Time: The Case of the European Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1379-1410, December.
    2. Alberto Cavallo, 2017. "Are Online and Offline Prices Similar? Evidence from Large Multi-channel Retailers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(1), pages 283-303, January.
    3. Jerry A. Hausman, 1996. "Valuation of New Goods under Perfect and Imperfect Competition," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of New Goods, pages 207-248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Walter Erwin Diewert & Marco Huwiler & Ulrich Kohli, 2009. "Retrospective Price Indices and Substitution Bias," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 145(II), pages 127-135, June.
    5. W. Erwin Diewert & Jan de Haan & Rens Hendriks, 2015. "Hedonic Regressions and the Decomposition of a House Price Index into Land and Structure Components," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1-2), pages 106-126, February.
    6. Cavallo, Alberto, 2013. "Online and official price indexes: Measuring Argentina's inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 152-165.
    7. Jerry Hausman, 2003. "Sources of Bias and Solutions to Bias in the Consumer Price Index," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 23-44, Winter.
    8. W. Erwin Diewert & Robert C. Feenstra, 2021. "Estimating the Benefits of New Products," NBER Chapters, in: Big Data for Twenty-First-Century Economic Statistics, pages 437-473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Robert J. Hill, 1997. "A Taxonomy Of Multilateral Methods For Making International Comparisons Of Prices And Quantities," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(1), pages 49-69, March.
    10. D.S. Prasada Rao, 2004. "The Country-Product-Dummy Method: A Stochastic Approach to the Computation of Purchasing Power Parities in the ICP," CEPA Working Papers Series WP032004, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    11. Diewert, Erwin & Fox, Kevin J. & Schreyer, Paul, 2019. "Experimental Economics and the New Commodities Problem," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2019-4, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 13 Mar 2019.
    12. Diewert, W. Erwin & Fox, Kevin J., 2017. "Substitution Bias in Multilateral Methods for CPI Construction using Scanner Data," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2017-3, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 23 Mar 2017.
    13. D. S.P. Rao (ed.), 2009. "Purchasing Power Parities of Currencies," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3725.
    14. Mick Silver, 2010. "The Wrongs And Rights Of Unit Value Indices," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(s1), pages 206-223, June.
    15. Jan de Haan & Frances Krsinich, 2018. "Time Dummy Hedonic and Quality‐Adjusted Unit Value Indexes: Do They Really Differ?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 64(4), pages 757-776, December.
    16. Erik Brynjolfsson & Avinash Collis & W. Erwin Diewert & Felix Eggers & Kevin J. Fox, 2020. "Measuring the Impact of Free Goods on Real Household Consumption," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 110, pages 25-30, May.
    17. W. Erwin Diewert, 1998. "Index Number Issues in the Consumer Price Index," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 47-58, Winter.
    18. Hill, Robert J, 2001. "Measuring Inflation and Growth Using Spanning Trees," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(1), pages 167-185, February.
    19. Diewert, Erwin & Feenstra, Robert, 2019. "Estimating the Benefits of New Products: Some Approximations," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2019-3, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 13 Mar 2019.
    20. D. S. Prasada Rao, 2005. "On The Equivalence Of Weighted Country‐Product‐Dummy (Cpd) Method And The Rao‐System For Multilateral Price Comparisons," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(4), pages 571-580, December.
    21. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Economics of New Goods," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bres96-1, January.
    22. Jan de Haan & Frances Krsinich, 2014. "Scanner Data and the Treatment of Quality Change in Nonrevisable Price Indexes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(3), pages 341-358, July.
    23. Hausman, Jerry, 1999. "Cellular Telephone, New Products, and the CPI," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(2), pages 188-194, April.
    24. W. Erwin Diewert & Kiyohiko G. Nishimura & Chihiro Shimizu & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2020. "Property Price Index," Advances in Japanese Business and Economics, Springer, number 978-4-431-55942-9, Fall.
    25. Alberto Cavallo & Roberto Rigobon, 2016. "The Billion Prices Project: Using Online Prices for Measurement and Research," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 151-178, Spring.
    26. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
    27. W. Erwin Diewert & Kevin J. Fox & Paul Schreyer, 2022. "Experimental Economics and the New Commodities Problem," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 68(4), pages 895-905, December.
    28. Hausman, Jerry A, 1981. "Exact Consumer's Surplus and Deadweight Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 662-676, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Price is Not Right: Measuring Inflation in a Pandemic
      by Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz in Money, Banking and Financial Markets on 2020-05-26 11:06:49

    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Economic consequences > Consumption

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. W. Erwin Diewert & Kevin J. Fox, 2022. "Measuring real consumption and consumer price index bias under lockdown conditions," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 55(S1), pages 480-502, February.
    2. Jung, Jinho & Kim, Yong J. & Kim, Sanghyo, 2022. "Sales-Weighted Online Agricultural Commodity Price Index: Using Sales and Price Data web-scraped from Online Grocery Stores in South Korea," 2022 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Anaheim, California 322525, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Jean Hindriks & Leonardo Madio & Valerio Serse, 2021. "Promotion Ban and Heterogeneity in Retail Prices during the Great Lockdown," CESifo Working Paper Series 9074, CESifo.
    4. Alberto Cavallo, 2020. "Inflation with Covid Consumption Baskets," NBER Working Papers 27352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. David Baqaee & Ariel Burstein, 2021. "Welfare and Output with Income Effects and Taste Shocks," NBER Working Papers 28754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Diewert W. Erwin & Fox Kevin J., 2022. "Measuring Inflation under Pandemic Conditions," Journal of Official Statistics, Sciendo, vol. 38(1), pages 255-285, March.
    7. CSORBA Luiela Magdalena & JURAVLE Damaris Judita, 2022. "Study Regarding The Impact Of The Covid-19 Pandemic On Inflation In Romania In The 2019 - 2020 Period," Revista Economica, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 74(1), pages 51-64, August.
    8. Santiago E. Alvarez & Sarah M. Lein, 2020. "Tracking inflation on a daily basis," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 156(1), pages 1-13, December.
    9. Jennifer Peña & Elvira Prades, 2021. "Price setting in Chile: Micro evidence from consumer on-line prices during the social outbreak and Covid-19," Working Papers 2112, Banco de España.
    10. Jaravel, Xavier & O'Connell, Martin, 2020. "Inflation Spike and Falling Product Variety during the Great Lockdown," CEPR Discussion Papers 14880, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Herzberg, Julika & Knetsch, Thomas A. & Schwind, Patrick & Weinand, Sebastian, 2021. "Quantifying bias and inaccuracy of upper-level aggregation in HICPs for Germany and the euro area," Discussion Papers 06/2021, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    12. Jaravel, Xavier & O'Connell, Martin, 2020. "Real-time price indices: Inflation spike and falling product variety during the Great Lockdown," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    13. Xavier Jaravel & Martin O'Connell, 2020. "High‐Frequency Changes in Shopping Behaviours, Promotions and the Measurement of Inflation: Evidence from the Great Lockdown," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(3), pages 733-755, September.
    14. J. Peña & E. Prades, 2021. "Price setting in Chile: Micro evidence from consumer on-line prices during the social outbreak and Covid-19," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 906, Central Bank of Chile.
    15. Esat Daşdemir, 2022. "A New Proposal for Consumer Price Index (CPI) Calculation and Income Distribution Measurement by Income Groups," Journal of Economy Culture and Society, Istanbul University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 65(65), pages 395-414, June.
    16. Edgar Caicedo-García & Jesús Daniel Sarmiento-Sarmiento & Ramón Hernández-Ortega, 2022. "Inflación y Covid-19: un ejercicio para Colombia," Borradores de Economia 1198, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    17. Pascal Seiler, 2020. "Weighting bias and inflation in the time of COVID-19: evidence from Swiss transaction data," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 156(1), pages 1-11, December.
    18. Mr. Francesco Grigoli & Evgenia Pugacheva, 2022. "Updating Inflation Weights in the UK and Germany during COVID-19," IMF Working Papers 2022/204, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Masahiro Higo & Shigenori Shiratsuka, 2022. "Was Inflation Observed under the First Wave of the COVID-19 Spread in Japan? Scanner Data Evidence for Retailers in Tokyo," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2022-013, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
    20. Xiao Ke & Cheng Hsiao, 2022. "Economic impact of the most drastic lockdown during COVID‐19 pandemic—The experience of Hubei, China," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 37(1), pages 187-209, January.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Diewert, Erwin, 2019. "Quality Adjustment and Hedonics: A Unified Approach," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2019-2, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 14 Mar 2019.
    2. Diewert W. Erwin & Fox Kevin J., 2022. "Measuring Inflation under Pandemic Conditions," Journal of Official Statistics, Sciendo, vol. 38(1), pages 255-285, March.
    3. W. Erwin Diewert & Robert C. Feenstra, 2021. "Estimating the Benefits of New Products," NBER Chapters, in: Big Data for Twenty-First-Century Economic Statistics, pages 437-473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Diewert, W. Erwin & Fox, Kevin J., 2016. "Kevin J. Fox Interview of W. Erwin Diewert," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2016-6, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 02 Jun 2016.
    5. Erik Brynjolfsson & Avinash Collis & W. Erwin Diewert & Felix Eggers & Kevin J. Fox, 2020. "Measuring the Impact of Free Goods on Real Household Consumption," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 110, pages 25-30, May.
    6. Diewert, Erwin & FOX, Kevin J. Fox & SCHREYER, Paul, 2017. "The Digital Economy, New Products and Consumer Welfare," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2017-12, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 14 Dec 2017.
    7. Diewert, Erwin, 2018. "Scanner Data, Elementary Price Indexes and the Chain Drift Problem," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2018-10, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Oct 2018.
    8. Diewert, Erwin & Marandola, Tina, 2018. "Scanner Data, Elementary Price Indexes and the Chain Drift Problem," Microeconomics.ca working papers tina_marandola-2018-9, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 10 Oct 2018.
    9. Diewert, W. Erwin & Fox, Kevin J., 2017. "Substitution Bias in Multilateral Methods for CPI Construction using Scanner Data," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2017-3, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 23 Mar 2017.
    10. W. Erwin Diewert & Kevin J. Fox, 2022. "Measuring real consumption and consumer price index bias under lockdown conditions," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 55(S1), pages 480-502, February.
    11. Diewert, Erwin & Feenstra, Robert, 2019. "Estimating the Benefits of New Products: Some Approximations," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2019-3, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 13 Mar 2019.
    12. Diewert, W, Erwin & Feenstra, Robert, 2017. "Estimating the Benefits and Costs of New and Disappearing Products," Microeconomics.ca working papers tina_marandola-2017-12, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 19 Dec 2017.
    13. Jerry Hausman, 2002. "Sources of Bias and Solutions to Bias in the CPI," NBER Working Papers 9298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Thomas von Brasch, 2013. "The cost-of-living index with trade barriers," Discussion Papers 751, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    15. Jerry Hausman, 2003. "Sources of Bias and Solutions to Bias in the Consumer Price Index," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 23-44, Winter.
    16. Robert J. Hill & Alice O. Nakamura, 2010. "Improving Inflation And Related Performance Measures For Nations: An Introduction," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(s1), pages 1-10, June.
    17. W. Erwin Diewert & Kevin J. Fox & Paul Schreyer, 2022. "Experimental Economics and the New Commodities Problem," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 68(4), pages 895-905, December.
    18. Diewert, Erwin, 2007. "Index Numbers," Economics working papers diewert-07-01-03-08-17-23, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 31 Jan 2007.
    19. Barnett, William A. & Erwin Diewert, W. & Zellner, Arnold, 2011. "Introduction to measurement with theory," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(1), pages 1-5, March.
    20. Diewert, Erwin, 2008. "New Methodology for Linking the Regions," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2008-9, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 09 Sep 2008.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • 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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27144. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.