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Substitution Biases in Price Indexes during Transition

  • Jan Hanousek

    (CERGE-EI, Prague)

  • Randall K. Filer

    (CUNY)

The rapidly changing environment of the transition may create special problems for calculation of index numbers that require a fixed basket of goods and retail outlets. Using referent-level data we find that fixed- weight Laspeyres index on average overstated cost of living increases by approximately 5 per cent a year when compared with a superlative index in the Czech Republic. This difference is smaller than might be expected given the large changes in relative prices that occurred during transition and suggests that consumer substitution impacts may have been largely offset by other factors, especially rising prices combined with increased consumption of some goods as artificial shortages under communism were removed. Indeed, in the period of greatest supply response to price liberalization, the Laspeyres index appears to understate increases in the cost of living.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/dev/papers/0306/0306002.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 0306002.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 16 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0306002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP/PostScript; pages: 22 ; figures: included
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Jan Hanousek & Randall K. Filer, 2001. "Consumers' Opinion of Inflation Bias Due to Quality Improvements in Transition in the Czech Republic," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp184, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  2. Triplett, Jack E, 2001. "Should the Cost-of-Living Index Provide the Conceptual Framework for a Consumer Price Index?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(472), pages F311-34, June.
  3. Mark A. Wynne & Fiona D. Sigalla, 1994. "The consumer price index," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q II, pages 1-22.
  4. Jan Hanousek & Randall K. Filer, 2000. "Output Changes and Inflationary Bias in Transition," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp167, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  5. Jan Hanousek & Randall K. Filer, 2001. "Survey-based Estimates of Biases in Consumer Price Indices During Transition: Evidence from Romania," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp178, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  6. Matthew D. Shapiro & David W. Wilcox, 1997. "Alternative Strategies for Aggregating Prices in the CPI," NBER Working Papers 5980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
  8. Brada, Josef C. & King, Arthur E. & Kutan, Ali M., 2000. "Inflation bias and productivity shocks in transition economies: The case of the Czech Republic," ZEI Working Papers B 02-2000, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  9. Paula De Masi & Vincent Koen, 1997. "Prices in Transition; Ten Stylized Facts," IMF Working Papers 97/158, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Brent R. Moulton, 1996. "Bias in the Consumer Price Index: What Is the Evidence?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 159-177, Fall.
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