Other Background Materials

Over the past several years the BLS has released numerous documents presenting its views on the measurement issues involved in production of the CPI. Among the most important of these documents are2:

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Anatomy of Price Change," reprint from the Monthly Labor Review, vol. 116, December 1993. This issue of the Monthly Labor Review was dedicated to a series of articles on CPI measurement problems.

Abraham, Katharine G., "Testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, U.S. Congress," March 13, 1995. This testimony describes the CPI, how it is constructed, and its relationship to a cost-of-living index.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the House Budget Committee, U.S. Congress," April 28, 1995. This report addresses questions concerning the relationship between the CPI and a cost-of-living measure, potential biases in the CPI, and BLS research into potential solutions to these problems.

Moulton, Brent R., "Bias in the Consumer Price Index: What is the Evidence?" Journal of Economic Perspectives 10(4): 159-77, 1996. This article summarizes and comments on several estimates of bias in the CPI.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "1998 CPI Revision," reprint from the Monthly Labor Review, vol. 119, December 1996.. This issue of the Monthly Labor Review was dedicated to a series of articles on the 1998 CPI Revision.

Abraham, Katharine G., "Testimony before the Subcommittee on Human Resources, House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, U.S. Congress" April 30, 1997. This testimony summarizes the actions the Bureau has taken and will be taking to improve the accuracy of the Consumer Price Index.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Measurement Issues in the Consumer Price Index," response prepared for Jim Saxton, Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, U.S. Congress, June 1997. This was the Bureau’s most comprehensive response to date to the recommendations made by the Advisory Commission to Study the CPI.

Abraham, Katharine G., John S. Greenlees, and Brent R. Moulton, "Working to Improve the Consumer Price Index," Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol.12, No. 1, Winter 1998, pp. 27-36. This paper comments on the Advisory Commission’s report and summarizes recent and planned improvements in the CPI.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, response prepared for Christopher Shays, Chairman of the Human Resources Subcommittee of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, U.S. Congress, March 31, 1998. This letter describes improvements in the CPI between April 1997 and March 1998, as well as future CPI improvement plans.

The remaining sections of this paper present the recommendations of the Boskin Commission along with the BLS responses. The responses are based on the 1997 paper prepared for Representative Saxton, updated and expanded where appropriate.

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Last Modified Date: October 16, 2001