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Scanner Data and Price Indexes

Robert C. Feenstra and Matthew D. Shapiro


Every time you buy a can of tuna or a new television, its bar code is scanned to record its price and other information. These “scanner data” offer a number of attractive features for economists and statisticians, because they are collected continuously, are available quickly, and record prices for all items sold, not just a statistical sample. But scanner data also present a number of difficulties for current statistical systems. This book assesses both the promise and the challenges of using scanner data to produce economic statistics. Three chapters in this book present the results of work ... More

Keywords: bar code, scanner data, statistical systems, economic statistics, Consumer Price Index, economic models, missing data, economists, statisticians, statistical agencies

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2002 Print ISBN-13: 9780226239651
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226239668.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert C. Feenstra, editor

Matthew D. Shapiro, editor

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Robert C. Feenstra and Matthew D.Shapiro

I Scanner Data in Official Statistics

3 Price Collection and Quality Assurance of Item Sampling in the Retail Prices Index

David Fenwick, Adrian Ball, Peter Morgan and Mick Silver

Roundtable Discussion

Dennis Fixler, John S. Greenlees, David Fenwick, Robin Lowe, and Mick Silver

II Aggregation across Time

5 High-Frequency Substitution and the Measurement of Price Indexes

Robert C. Feenstra and Matthew D. Shapiro

III Using Price Data to Study Market Structure

7 What Can the Price Gap between Branded and Private-Label Products Tell Us about Markups?

Robert Barsky, Mark Bergen, Shantanu Dutta, and Daniel Levy

8 The Long Shadow of Patent Expiration

Ernst R. Berndt, Margaret K. Kyle, and Davina C. Ling

IV Measuring Change in Quality and Imputing Missing Observations