IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/swe/wpaper/2014-05.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Price Discounts and the Measurement of Inflation

Author

Listed:
  • Kevin J. Fox

    (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)

  • Iqbal A. Syed

    (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)

Abstract

Consumers are very responsive to sales, yet statistical agency practice typically under-weights sale prices in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), with some agencies excluding sale prices completely. Evidence is lacking on how this may impact on both the representativeness of prices included in the CPI and on estimates of in ation. We use high-frequency scanner data from US supermarkets to explore if there is any systematic directional impact. The key finding is that the exclusion of sales prices introduces a systematic effect. We also find that even when sales prices are included they are systematically under-weighted, but the under-weighting remains fairly stable over time so that in ation measurement is not significantly affected.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin J. Fox & Iqbal A. Syed, 2014. "Price Discounts and the Measurement of Inflation," Discussion Papers 2014-05, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  • Handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2014-05
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://research.economics.unsw.edu.au/RePEc/papers/2014-05.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Daniel Hosken & David Reiffen, 2004. "Patterns of Retail Price Variation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 128-146, Spring.
    2. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2008. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does it Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 863-904.
    3. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2006. "Measuring the Implications of Sales and Consumer Inventory Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1637-1673, November.
    4. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2006. "Sales and consumer inventory," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 543-561, September.
    5. Chen, Haipeng (Allan) & Levy, Daniel & Ray, Sourav & Bergen, Mark, 2008. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment in the Small," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 728-737.
    6. Ivancic, Lorraine & Erwin Diewert, W. & Fox, Kevin J., 2011. "Scanner data, time aggregation and the construction of price indexes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(1), pages 24-35, March.
    7. Rachel Griffith & Ephraim Leibtag & Andrew Leicester & Aviv Nevo, 2009. "Consumer Shopping Behavior: How Much Do Consumers Save?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 99-120, Spring.
    8. Patrick J. Kehoe & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2008. "Temporary price changes and the real effects of monetary policy," Working Papers 661, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    9. John Conlisk & Eitan Gerstner & Joel Sobel, 1984. "Cyclic Pricing by a Durable Goods Monopolist," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(3), pages 489-505.
    10. Iqbal A. Syed, 2015. "Sales Spotter: An Algorithm to Identify Sale Prices in Point-of-Sale Data," Discussion Papers 2015-13, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    11. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
    12. Joel Sobel, 1984. "The Timing of Sales," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 353-368.
    13. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2013. "Price Rigidity: Microeconomic Evidence and Macroeconomic Implications," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 133-163, May.
    14. Harald J. van Heerde & Peter S. H. Leeflang & Dick R. Wittink, 2004. "Decomposing the Sales Promotion Bump with Store Data," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(3), pages 317-334, December.
    15. Robert C. Feenstra & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2003. "High-Frequency Substitution and the Measurement of Price Indexes," NBER Chapters, in: Scanner Data and Price Indexes, pages 123-150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Martin Pesendorfer, 2002. "Retail Sales: A Study of Pricing Behavior in Supermarkets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(1), pages 33-66, January.
    17. Dutta, Shantanu & Bergen, Mark & Levy, Daniel, 2002. "Price flexibility in channels of distribution: Evidence from scanner data," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 1845-1900, September.
    18. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Alvarez & Herve Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lunnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Price Changes in the Euro Area and the United States: Some Facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 171-192, Spring.
    19. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow & Benjamin A. Malin, 2012. "Reset Price Inflation and the Impact of Monetary Policy Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2798-2825, October.
    20. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:543-561 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Jack E. Triplett, 2003. "Using Scanner Data in Consumer Price Indexes. Some Neglected Conceptual Considerations," NBER Chapters, in: Scanner Data and Price Indexes, pages 151-162, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Kevin J. Fox & Daniel Melser, 2014. "Non-Linear Pricing and Price Indexes: Evidence and Implications from Scanner Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(2), pages 261-278, June.
    23. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464.
    24. W. Erwin Diewert & Kevin J. Fox & Jan de Haan, 2015. "Weekly versus Monthly Unit Value Price Indexes," Discussion Papers 2015-15, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    25. Lorraine Ivancic & Kevin J. Fox, 2013. "Understanding Price Variation Across Stores and Supermarket Chains: Some Implications for CPI Aggregation Methods," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 59(4), pages 629-647, December.
    26. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "Multilateral Comparisons of Output, Input, and Productivity Using Superlative Index Numbers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(365), pages 73-86, March.
    27. 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.
    28. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
    29. Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap & Peter E. Rossi, 2003. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 15-37, March.
    30. Chahrour, Ryan A., 2011. "Sales and price spikes in retail scanner data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 143-146, February.
    31. Robert C. Feenstra & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2003. "Scanner Data and Price Indexes," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feen03-1, June.
    32. Nakamura, Alice O. & Nakamura, Emi & Nakamura, Leonard I., 2011. "Price dynamics, retail chains and inflation measurement," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(1), pages 47-55, March.
    33. Michael J. Boskin, 1998. "Consumer Prices, the Consumer Price Index, and the Cost of Living," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 3-26, Winter.
    34. de Haan, Jan & van der Grient, Heymerik A., 2011. "Eliminating chain drift in price indexes based on scanner data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(1), pages 36-46, March.
    35. Daniel Hosken & David Reiffen, 2004. "How Retailers Determine Which Products Should Go on Sale: Evidence From Store-Level Data," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 141-177, June.
    36. Martin Eichenbaum & Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "Reference Prices, Costs, and Nominal Rigidities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 234-262, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Iqbal A. Syed & Jan De Haan, 2017. "Age, Time, Vintage, And Price Indexes: Measuring The Depreciation Pattern Of Houses," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(1), pages 580-600, January.
    2. Adam Gorajek, 2018. "Econometric Perspectives on Economic Measurement," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2018-08, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    3. Kevin J, Fox. & Iqbal A. Syed, 2016. "Price Discounts and the Measurement of Inflation: Further Results," Discussion Papers 2016-05, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    4. Diewert, W. Erwin & Fox, Kevin J. & de Haan, Jan, 2016. "A newly identified source of potential CPI bias: Weekly versus monthly unit value price indexes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 169-172.
    5. de Haan, Jan & Diewert, W. Erwin & Fox, Kevin J., 2015. "Weekly versus Monthly Unit Value Price Indexes," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2015-15, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 20 Jul 2015.
    6. Glandon, PJ, 2018. "Sales and the (Mis)measurement of price level fluctuations," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 60-77.

    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. Kevin J, Fox. & Iqbal A. Syed, 2016. "Price Discounts and the Measurement of Inflation: Further Results," Discussion Papers 2016-05, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    2. Edward S. Knotek, 2010. "The roles of price points and menu costs in price rigidity," Research Working Paper RWP 10-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    3. Nakamura, Emi & Steinsson, Jón, 2011. "Price setting in forward-looking customer markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 220-233.
    4. Glandon, PJ, 2018. "Sales and the (Mis)measurement of price level fluctuations," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 60-77.
    5. Holzer, Patrick Sebastian, 2020. "The effect of time-varying factors on promotional activity in the German milk market," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 55(C).
    6. Berck, Peter & Brown, Jennifer & Perloff, Jeffrey M. & Villas-Boas, Sofia Berto, 2008. "Sales: Tests of theories on causality and timing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1257-1273, November.
    7. Levy, Daniel & Snir, Avichai & Gotler, Alex & Chen, Haipeng (Allan), 2020. "Not all price endings are created equal: Price points and asymmetric price rigidity," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    8. Daniel Levy & Dongwon Lee & Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Robert J. Kauffman & Mark Bergen, 2011. "Price Points and Price Rigidity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1417-1431, November.
    9. Giulietti, Monica & Otero, Jesús & Waterson, Michael, 2020. "Rigidities and adjustments of daily prices to costs: Evidence from supermarket data," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).
    10. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2013. "Price Rigidity: Microeconomic Evidence and Macroeconomic Implications," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 133-163, May.
    11. Chakraborty, Ratula & Dobson, Paul W. & Seaton, Jonathan S. & Waterson, Michael, 2015. "Pricing in inflationary times: The penny drops," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 71-86.
    12. Maarten Dossche & Freddy Heylen & Dirk Van den Poel, 2010. "The Kinked Demand Curve and Price Rigidity: Evidence from Scanner Data," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(4), pages 723-752, December.
    13. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464.
    14. Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap, 2011. "Best Prices," NBER Working Papers 16680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Nakamura, Alice O. & Nakamura, Emi & Nakamura, Leonard I., 2011. "Price dynamics, retail chains and inflation measurement," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(1), pages 47-55, March.
    16. Marcelo Delajara & José Antonio Murillo Garza, 2012. "Weekday with Low Prices: Evidence on Daily Seasonality of Foods, Beverages, and Tobacco Prices," Working Papers 2012-09, Banco de México.
    17. Klenow, Peter J. & Malin, Benjamin A., 2010. "Microeconomic Evidence on Price-Setting," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 6, pages 231-284, Elsevier.
    18. Martin Berka & Michael B. Devereux & Thomas Rudolph, 2011. "Price setting in a leading Swiss online supermarket," CAMA Working Papers 2011-19, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    19. Hahn, Volker & Marenčák, Michal, 2020. "Price points and price dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 127-144.
    20. Fauzia SOHAIL* & Ambreen FATIMA**, 2018. "PRICE SETTING BEHAVIOUR IN PAKISTAN: Stylized Facts from Micro SPI Dataset," Pakistan Journal of Applied Economics, Applied Economics Research Centre, vol. 28(2), pages 253-286.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cost-of-living; CPI; Regular prices; Retail sales; RYGEKS; Scanner data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:swe:wpaper:2014-05. 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/senswau.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: Hongyi Li (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/senswau.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.