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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 17 No. 1 (Winter 2003)

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The Consumer Price Index: Conceptual Issues and Practical Suggestions

Article Citation

Schultze, Charles L. 2003. "The Consumer Price Index: Conceptual Issues and Practical Suggestions ." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 17(1): 3-22.

DOI: 10.1257/089533003321164921

Abstract

A National Academy of Sciences Panel recently made a number of recommendations to the BLS for improving the Consumer Price Index, while also suggesting some cautions to be observed when considering the adoption of new concepts and techniques. This paper discusses the Panel's analyses in four areas: Should a cost-of-living index be the measurement objective of the CPI? Should the index attempt to capture the effect on living costs from changes in "environmental" conditions? How can hedonic techniques be best applied for measuring quality changes? Should the BLS attempt to measure the consumer surpluses accompanying the introduction of new goods?

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Schultze, Charles L.

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