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Accounting for Housing in a CPI

  • Diewert, Erwin
  • Nakamura, Alice O.

Statistical agencies in different nations usually use the rental equivalence approach to the treatment of housing in their CPIs but a few countries use the user cost approach. The paper argues that an opportunity cost approach is the correct theoretical framework for accounting for OOH in a CPI. This approach, first mentioned in a 2006 OECD paper by Diewert, is developed more fully here. We explore the relationship of this new approach to the usual rental equivalency and user cost approaches. The new approach leads to an Owner Occupied Housing Opportunity Cost (OOHOC) index that is a weighted average of the rental and the financial opportunity costs.

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Paper provided by Vancouver School of Economics in its series Economics working papers with number erwin_diewert-2009-19.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 05 Mar 2009
Date of revision: 12 Mar 2009
Handle: RePEc:ubc:bricol:erwin_diewert-2009-19
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  6. Balk, Bert M. & Diewert, Erwin & Nakamura, Alice O., 2009. "Introduction to Price and Productivity Measurement for Housing," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2009-18, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 12 Mar 2009.
  7. Theodore M. Crone & Leonard I. Nakamura & Richard Voith, 2004. "Hedonic estimates of the cost of housing services: rental and owner-occupied units," Working Papers 04-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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  18. Hoffmann, Johannes & Kurz-Kim, Jeong-Ryeol, 2006. "Consumer price adjustment under the microscope: Germany in a period of low inflation," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,16, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
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