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Expenditure-based Interarea Cost of Living Index

  • Alexandru Voicu

    (Rutgers University, Department of Economics)

  • Michael L. Lahr

    (Rutgers University, Rutgers University, Center for Urban Policy Research)

The main difficulty in comparing the cost-of-living among metropolitan areas is that, at this level, prices of most goods and services are not available. Even when the prices are available, constructing aggregate prices for groups of goods and services comparable across areas, is a difficult task. In this paper we attempt to construct a cost-of-living index for metropolitan areas, using only data on metropolitan-level expenditures. While our method circumvents the two problems mentioned above, it requires two assumptions regarding the level of utility attained across areas, and the effect of demand elasticity on the relationship priceexpenditure.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/urb/papers/0403/0403006.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Urban/Regional with number 0403006.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 25 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpur:0403006
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 20
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Angus Deaton, 1998. "Getting Prices Right: What Should Be Done?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 37-46, Winter.
  2. Katharine G. Abraham & John S. Greenlees & Brent R. Moulton, 1998. "Working to Improve the Consumer Price Index," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 27-36, Winter.
  3. 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.
  4. Braithwait, Steven D, 1980. "The Substitution Bias of the Laspeyres Price Index: An Analysis Using Estimated Cost-of-Living Indexes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(1), pages 64-77, March.
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