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Scanner Data, Time Aggregation and the Construction of Price Indexes

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  • Diewert, Erwin
  • Fox, Kevin J.
  • Ivancic, Lorraine

Abstract

The impact of weekly, monthly and quarterly time aggregation on estimates of price change is examined for nineteen different supermarket item categories over a fifteen month period using scanner data. We find that time aggregation choices (the choice of a weekly, monthly or quarterly unit value concept for prices) have a considerable impact on estimates of price change. When chained indexes are used, the difference in price change estimates can be huge, ranging from 0.28% to 29.73% for a superlative (Fisher) index and an incredible 14.88% to 46,463.71% for a non-superlative (Laspeyres) index. The results suggest that traditional index number theory breaks down when weekly data with severe price bouncing are used, even for superlative indexes. Monthly and (in some cases even) quarterly time aggregation were found to be insufficient to eliminate downward drift in superlative indexes. In order to eliminate chain drift, multilateral index number methods are adapted to provide drift free measures of price change.

Suggested Citation

  • Diewert, Erwin & Fox, Kevin J. & Ivancic, Lorraine, 2009. "Scanner Data, Time Aggregation and the Construction of Price Indexes," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2009-48, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 22 Sep 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:bricol:erwin_diewert-2009-48
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    File URL: http://www.econ.ubc.ca/diewert/dp0909.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rudolfs Bems & Julian di Giovanni, 2016. "Income-Induced Expenditure Switching," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(12), pages 3898-3931, December.
    2. Daniel Melser, 2016. "Prices over the business cycle: micro-level evidence from scanner data," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(4), pages 1922-1928.
    3. von der Lippe, Peter, 2012. "Notes on GEKS and RGEKS indices," MPRA Paper 42730, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Diewert, W. Erwin, 2017. "Productivity Measurement in the Public Sector: Theory and Practice," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2017-1, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 02 Feb 2017.
    5. 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.
    6. Diewert, Erwin & Shimizu, Chihiro, 2015. "Residential Property Price Indices For Tokyo," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, pages 1659-1714.
    7. Kota Watanabe & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2014. "We construct a Törnqvist daily price index using Japanese point of sale (POS) scannerdata spanning from 1988 to 2013. We find the following. First, the POS based inflation rate tends to be about 0.5 ," CARF F-Series CARF-F-342, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
    8. Abe, Naohito & Moriguchi, Chiaki & Inakura, Noriko, 2012. "The Great East Japan Earthquake and its Short-run Effects on Household Purchasing Behavior," Research Center for Price Dynamics Working Paper Series 2, Research Center for Price Dynamics, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    9. Ivancic, Lorraine & Fox, Kevin J., 2013. "Can dissimilarity indexes resolve the issue of when to chain price indexes?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 6-9.
    10. 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.
    11. Abe, Naohito & Moriguchi, Chiaki & Inakura, Noriko, 2014. "The Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake on Commodity Prices: New Evidence from High-Frequency Scanner Data," Research Center for Price Dynamics Working Paper Series 12, Research Center for Price Dynamics, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    12. W. Erwin Diewert & Kevin J. Fox, 2015. "Output Growth and Inflation across Space and Time," Discussion Papers 2015-04, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    13. 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.
    14. Abe, Naohito & Moriguchi, Chiaki & Inakura, Noriko, 2014. "The Effects of Natural Disasters on Prices and Purchasing Behaviors: The Case of the Great East Japan Earthquake," RCESR Discussion Paper Series DP14-1, Research Center for Economic and Social Risks, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    15. Fox, Kevin J. & Syed, Iqbal A., 2016. "Price discounts and the measurement of inflation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 191(2), pages 398-406.
    16. repec:aea:jecper:v:31:y:2017:i:2:p:187-210 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. 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.
    18. Kota Watanabe & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2014. "Estimating Daily Inflation Using Scanner Data: A Progress Report," UTokyo Price Project Working Paper Series 020, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Economics.
    19. 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.
    20. Daniel Leigh & Weicheng Lian & Marcos Poplawski-Ribeiro & Rachel Szymanski & Viktor Tsyrennikov & Hong Yang, 2017. "Exchange Rates and Trade; A Disconnect?," IMF Working Papers 17/58, International Monetary Fund.
    21. Diewert, W. Erwin & Nishimura , Kiyohiko & Shimizu, Chihiro & Watanabe, Tsutomu, 2014. "Residential Property Price Indexes for Japan: An Outline of the Japanese Official RPPI," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2014-17, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 27 Mar 2014.
    22. 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.
    23. , & Diewert, Erwin, 2014. "An Empirical Illustration of Index Construction using Israeli Data on Vegetables," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2014-11, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 11 Mar 2014.
    24. 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.
    25. Jan de Haan & Rens Hendriks & Michael Scholz, 2016. "A Comparison of Weighted Time-Product Dummy and Time Dummy Hedonic Indexes," Graz Economics Papers 2016-13, University of Graz, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price indexes; aggregation; scanner data; chain drift; superlative indexes; unit values; multilateral index number methods; rolling window GEKS; rolli;

    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

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