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Estimating hedonic price indexes for personal computers in russia: Case of Yekaterinburg

Parkhomenko, Alexander and Redkina, Anastasia and Maslivets, Olga (2007): Estimating hedonic price indexes for personal computers in russia: Case of Yekaterinburg.

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Abstract

Economists have been noting for decades that Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the developed countries is overstating inflation by 0,5−2,0% per year. A significant part of the bias is due to the presence of technology products and differentiated products in the CPI basket. An increase share of these products in the Russian CPI may also lead to a substantial upward bias. Nowadays hedonic indices are believed to be the most efficient way to reduce this bias. They can be used in two ways: to estimate the bias in CPI and to elaborate alternative official price indices for information and communication technology (ICT) products. We estimate a 25% fall in the price of personal computers for 20 months (03.04-11.05) using this method. A 25−44% upward bias in price index for PC in Russia was also calculated. We have found that the Russian CPI could be upward biased by 0,18-0,32% per year due to new goods and quality change effects for PC (given 1% expenditure share).

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