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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.economics.ubc.ca/

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  1. David Genesove, 1999. "The Nominal Rigidity of Apartment Rents," NBER Working Papers 7137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Shiller, Robert J., 2007. "Understanding Recent Trends in House Prices and Home Ownership," Working Papers 28, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Bajari, Patrick & Benkard, C. Lanier & Krainer, John, 2005. "House prices and consumer welfare," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 474-487, November.
  5. Robert J. Hill & T. Peter Hill, 2003. "Expectations, Capital Gains, and Income," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(4), pages 607-619, October.
  6. Randal Verbrugge, 2008. "The Puzzling Divergence Of Rents And User Costs, 1980-2004," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(4), pages 671-699, December.
  7. Theodore Crone & Leonard I. Nakamura & Richard Voith, 2008. "Rents have been rising, not falling, in the postwar period," Working Papers 08-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  8. Katz, Arnold J, 1983. "Valuing the Services of Consumer Durables," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 29(4), pages 405-27, December.
  9. Diewert, W E, 1974. "Intertemporal Consumer Theory and the Demand for Durables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(3), pages 497-516, May.
  10. Hulten, Charles R & Wykoff, Frank C, 1996. "Issues in the Measurement of Economic Depreciation: Introductory Remarks," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(1), pages 10-23, January.
  11. Carol Corrado & Charles Hulten & Daniel Sichel, 2005. "Measuring Capital and Technology: An Expanded Framework," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Capital in the New Economy, pages 11-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. W. Erwin Diewert, 1980. "Aggregation Problems in the Measurement of Capital," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Capital, pages 433-538 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Dougherty, Ann & Van Order, Robert, 1982. "Inflation, Housing Costs, and the Consumer Price Index," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 154-64, March.
  14. W. Erwin Diewert, 2002. "Harmonized Indexes of Consumer Prices: Their Conceptual Foundations," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 138(IV), pages 547-637, December.
  15. Theodore M. Crone & Leonard I. Nakamura & Richard P. Voith, 2004. "Hedonic estimates of the cost of housing services: rental and owner-occupied units," Working Papers 04-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  16. Capozza, Dennis R. & Seguin, Paul J., 1996. "Expectations, efficiency, and euphoria in the housing market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 369-386, June.
  17. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W, 1969. "The Measurement of U.S. Real Capital Input, 1929-1967," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 15(4), pages 293-320, December.
  18. 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.
  19. Hulten, Charles R. & Wykoff, Frank C., 1981. "The estimation of economic depreciation using vintage asset prices : An application of the Box-Cox power transformation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 367-396, April.
  20. Dale Jorgenson, 1967. "The Theory of Investment Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: Determinants of Investment Behavior, pages 129-175 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Andrew Bauer & Nicholas Haltom & William Peterman, 2004. "Examining contributions to core consumer inflation measures," Working Paper 2004-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  22. Arturo Estrella, 2002. "Securitization and the efficacy of monetary policy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 243-255.
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