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Claudia Kurz

1 January 2002
In several studies, hedonic methods have been used successfully for the ex post assessment of the accuracy of inflation measurement. Most of those studies relate to high-tech products, with respect to which traditional methods of compiling price indices often fail. We apply hedonic methods to rental housing services, which display less quality progress. However, as German households devote about 10 % of their total expenditure to rented housing services, even a small bias in this field might induce a substantial distortion in overall inflation measurement. On the basis of data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we perform a hedonic analysis of housing rents and compile different price indices. Overall, we conclude that there is some evidence of an understatement of rent inflation in the official rent index for West Germany at the beginning of the 1990s.
JEL Code
C21 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Cross-Sectional Models, Spatial Models, Treatment Effect Models, Quantile Regressions
C43 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics→Index Numbers and Aggregation
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation