Getting realabout inequality : evidence from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru
Consumption baskets vary across households and inflation rates vary across goods. As a result, standard consumer price index (CPI) inflation may provide a misleading measure of the inflation actually faced by poor households, more so the more unequal the distribution of aggregate consumption across households. Likewise, changes in observed nominal consumption inequality may be very different from those in true inequality, that is, that measured using household-specific CPIs. The authors explore empirically these issues using household data covering nine episodes from four Latin American countries (Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru). They find that in these countries standard CPI inflation typically reflects the inflation rate faced by a rich consumer located in the 80 to 90 percentile of the distribution of consumption expenditure. In most episodes the authors also find that inflation was anti-rich-that is, the inflation faced by the richest consumers was higher than the inflation faced by the poorest consumers. As a result of this bias, the observed increases in nominal inequality generally exceed the actual changes in real inequality. These results are robust to correcting for quality change bias in the CPI, to the use of alternative price indices, and to the use of alternative inequality measures.
|Date of creation:||01 Jan 2006|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433|
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- S. J. Prais, 1959. "Whose Cost of Living?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 126-134.
- Eduardo Ley, 2005.
"Whose inflation? A characterization of the CPI plutocratic gap,"
Oxford Economic Papers,
Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 634-646, October.
- Eduardo Ley, 2001. "Whose Inflation? A Characterization of the CPI Plutocratic Gap," Public Economics 0110001, EconWPA, revised 14 Mar 2005.
- Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley, 2001. "Inflation and the Poor," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 160-178, May.
- Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley, 2000. "Inflation and the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2335, The World Bank.
- Bart Hobijn & David Lagakos, 2005. "Inflation Inequality In The United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(4), pages 581-606, December.
- Bart Hobijn & David Lagakos, 2003. "Inflation inequality in the United States," Staff Reports 173, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Angus Deaton, 1998. "Getting Prices Right: What Should Be Done?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 37-46, Winter.
- W. Erwin Diewert, 1998. "Index Number Issues in the Consumer Price Index," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 47-58, Winter.
- Ruiz-Castillo, Javier & Ley, Eduardo & Izquierdo, Mario, 2002. "Distributional aspects of the quality change bias in the CPI: evidence from Spain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 137-144, June.
- Javier Ruiz Castillo & Eduardo Ley & Mario Izquierdo, "undated". "Distributional aspects of the quality change bias in the CPI: Evidence from Spain," Working Papers 2000-08, FEDEA.
- Javier Ruiz-Castillo & Eduardo Ley & Mario Izquierdo, "undated". "Distributional aspects of the quality change bias in the CPI: Evidence from Spain," Studies on the Spanish Economy 73, FEDEA.
- Hagemann, Robert P, 1982. "The Variability of Inflation Rates across Household Types," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 14(4), pages 494-510, November. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)