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This paper documents the production of a panel of price indices for housing services, other produced goods, and all produced goods for each metropolitan area in the United States and the non-metropolitan part of each state from 1982 through 2010 that can be used for estimating behavioral relationships, studying the workings of markets, and assessing differences in the economic circumstances of people living in different areas. The panel will be extended each year beyond 2010. Our general approach is to first produce cross-sectional price indices for a single year 2000 and then use BLS time-series price indices to create the panel. Our geographic housing price index for 2000 is based on a large data set with detailed information about the characteristics of dwelling units and their neighborhoods throughout the United States that enables us to overcome many shortcomings of existing interarea housing price indices. For most areas, our price index for all goods other than housing is calculated from the price indices for categories of non-housing goods produced each quarter by the Council for Community and Economic Research. In order to produce a non-housing price index for areas of the United States not covered by their index, we estimate a theoretically-based regression model explaining differences in the composite price index for non-housing goods for areas where it is available and use it to predict a price of other goods for the uncovered areas. The overall consumer price index for all areas is based on the preceding estimates of the price of housing and other goods. The paper discusses existing interarea price indices available to researchers, compares the new housing price index with housing price indices based on alternative methods using the same data and price indices based on alternative data sets, and illustrates the use of the price indices by estimating housing demand functions. Electronic versions of the price indices are available online

  • Edgar O. Olsen


  • Dirk W. Early


  • Paul E. Carrillo


No abstract is available for this item.

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Paper provided by University of Virginia, Department of Economics in its series Virginia Economics Online Papers with number 402.

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Length: 72 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vir:virpap:402
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  1. Winters, John V., 2009. "Wages and prices: Are workers fully compensated for cost of living differences?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 632-643, September.
  2. Edgar O. Olsen, 2001. "Housing Programs for Low-Income Households," NBER Working Papers 8208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok & James X. Sullivan, 2009. "The Under-Reporting of Transfers in Household Surveys: Its Nature and Consequences," Working Papers 0903, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  4. Jahyeong Koo & Keith R. Phillips & Fiona Sigalla, 1997. "Measuring regional cost of living," Working Papers 9713, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  5. Mayo, Stephen K., 1981. "Theory and estimation in the economics of housing demand," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 95-116, July.
  6. Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven, 2006. "Regulation and the High Cost of Housing in California," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt3hh7s35m, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  7. David Y. Albouy, 2008. "The Unequal Geographic Burden of Federal Taxation," NBER Working Papers 13995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Daniel H. Weinberg, 1982. "Housing Benefits From the Section 8 Housing Program," Evaluation Review, , vol. 6(1), pages 5-24, February.
  9. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762.
  10. Dumond, J Michael & Hirsch, Barry T & Macpherson, David A, 1999. "Wage Differentials across Labor Markets and Workers: Does Cost of Living Matter?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(4), pages 577-98, October.
  11. Pollak, Robert A., 1989. "The Theory of the Cost-of-Living Index," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195058703, July.
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