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The Boskin Commission Report and its Aftermath

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  • Robert J. Gordon

Abstract

This paper briefly summarizes the analysis and findings of the 1996 Boskin Commission Report, Toward a More Accurate Measure of the Cost of Living. It then reviews the comments and criticisms that appeared soon after the Report was issued and provides responses to the more important criticisms. Changes in the CPI, both those that were planned before the Report and those that were in part a response to its recommendations, are summarized and assessed. The paper concludes with a summary of recent research on quality change and comments on the current status of the CPI and of price measurement research. Including those improvements that the BLS has announced for implementation in 2000-2002, the paper estimates that the current upward bias in the CPI is in the range of 0.65 percent, down from the 1.1 percent that the Report estimated applied to the period 1995-96.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Gordon, 2000. "The Boskin Commission Report and its Aftermath," NBER Working Papers 7759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7759
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brent R. Moulton, 1996. "Bias in the Consumer Price Index: What Is the Evidence?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 159-177, Fall.
    2. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226304557 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Brent R. Moulton & Karin E. Moses, 1997. "Addressing the Quality Change Issue in the Consumer Price Index," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 305-366.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert J. Gordon, 2006. "The Boskin Commission Report: A Retrospective One Decade Later," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 12, pages 7-22, Spring.
    2. Hammermann, Felix & Flanagan, Mark, 2007. "What Explains Persistent Inflation Differentials Across Transition Economies?," Kiel Working Papers 1373, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2004. "Construction Of Cpix Data For Forecasting And Modelling In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 72(5), pages 884-912, December.
    4. Wolfgang Pollan, 2001. "The Development of Selected Consumer Prices from 1970 to 2000," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 74(3), pages 189-191, March.
    5. repec:onb:oenbwp:y::i:106:b:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. David E. Lebow & Jeremy B. Rudd, 2001. "Measurement error in the consumer price index: where do we stand?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-61, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Balázs Égert & László Halpern & Ronald MacDonald, 2006. "Equilibrium Exchange Rates in Transition Economies: Taking Stock of the Issues ," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 257-324, April.
    8. Peter J. Klenow, 2003. "Measuring consumption growth: the impact of new and better products," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 10-23.
    9. Hiroshi Ohashi, 2003. "Econometric analysis of price index for home video cassette recorders in the U.S., 1978-1987," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 179-197.
    10. Mihaela SIMIONESCU, 2016. "The Identification Of Inflation Rate Determinants In The Usa Using The Stochastic Search Variable Selection," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 8(1), pages 171-181, March.
    11. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2004. "The size distribution of firms in an economy with fixed and entry costs," Working Papers 633, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    12. Wolfgang Pollan, 2002. "Zur Messung der Verbraucherpreise in Österreich. Lebenshaltungskostenindex oder Preisindex?," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 75(12), pages 775-787, December.
    13. Jochen Hartwig, 2005. "On Misusing National Accounts Data for Governance Purposes," KOF Working papers 05-101, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    14. Mark J Flanagan & Felix Hammermann, 2007. "What Explains Persistent Inflation Differentials Across Transition Economies?," IMF Working Papers 07/189, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Égert, Balázs, 2004. "Assessing equilibrium exchange rates in CEE acceding countries : can we have DEER with BEER without FEER? : A critical survey of the literature," BOFIT Discussion Papers 1/2004, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    16. Guy M Meredith, 2007. "Debt Dynamics and Global Imbalances; Some Conventional Views Reconsidered," IMF Working Papers 07/4, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Hammermann, Felix, 2007. "Nonmonetary Determinants of Inflation in Romania: A Decomposition," Kiel Working Papers 1322, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets

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