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Scanner Data and Price Indexes$
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Robert C. Feenstra and Matthew D. Shapiro

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226239651

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226239668.001.0001

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Using Scanner Data in Consumer Price Indexes Some Neglected Conceptual Considerations

Using Scanner Data in Consumer Price Indexes Some Neglected Conceptual Considerations

Chapter:
(p.151) 6 Using Scanner Data in Consumer Price Indexes Some Neglected Conceptual Considerations
Source:
Scanner Data and Price Indexes
Author(s):

Jack E. Triplett

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226239668.003.0008

This chapter illustrates how consumer shopping behavior can dramatically alter the true price paid relative to what a price index based on survey sampling might measure. Some problems that arise in using scanner data in the consumer price index (CPI) are evaluated. Cost-of-living index (COLI) theory rests on a theory of an individual consumer's behavior. Explorations of scanner data, and indeed of methods for calculating component indexes of the CPI, have mostly used standard index number formulas from the existing price index literature, applied to store data. Price indexes calculated using scanner data always appear to differ from the CPI. Moreover, acquisitions and consumption periodicities differ, and the period-to-period store prices diverge from households' acquisitions and consumption prices in ways that depend on their inventory and shopping behaviors. Better classifications in the CPI are needed in order to have CPI component indexes that are suitable for economic analysis.

Keywords:   consumer price index, shopping behavior, cost-of-living index, scanner data, store data, acquisitions, consumption prices, inventory, households

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