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Statistics in Economic Studies European Inflation and Its Variability

Опубликовано на портале: 22-09-2003
Statistician. 1995.  Vol. Vol. 44. No. 3. P. pp. 309-322.. 
Тематический раздел:
This paper identifies the extent to which price changes for individual product groups within a consumer price index (CPI) are dispersed. This is of importance because of our concern with the differential economic effect of inflation on households, the representativeness of CPIs and the widely held theory in economics that increased dispersion of price changes at higher rates of inflation is symptomatic of a misallocation of resources. Such theory forms the basis of anti-inflationary policies in many countries including the UK. This study provides summary statistics on the extent of such dispersion for nine European countries. The measures benefit from new improvements with regard to the timeliness of the weights and the weighting system. Models of the relationship between dispersion and the mean are developed, the coefficients for each country providing estimates of the extent to which a unit rise in inflation will lead to increased dispersion. The consistency of method, scope and measurement used for these countries allows us to identify for the first time whether, for a unit increase in inflation, the damage to the economy as reflected in the increase in dispersion is similar for different countries, and if not the extent to which such countries are less prone to such damage. The measures of dispersion used include the coefficient of variation, not generally used in such work, which is argued to incorporate a model of perceptions of inflation. The model includes tests for asymmetry of price change for menu cost models, oil shocks and structural shifts. In particular the paper subsequently focuses on the previously unconsidered area of currency realignments under the European Monetary System and their (quite different) effects on variability.

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