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Consumer Price Index

Quality Adjustment in the CPI: Boys' Shirts and Sweaters

Item definition

Boys' shirts image

The Entry Level Item (ELI) category of boys’ shirts and sweaters is part of the index for boys’ apparel and includes all types and styles of cardigans, sweaters, and tops in preschool and boys’ sizes. In this factsheet, we examine the regression model used in the quality adjustment of price data for boys’ shirts and sweaters.

CPI sample

The sample used for the new hedonic model included approximately 700 observations. This model was constructed using a mix of store and website collected data. Roughly 65 percent of data came from websites. Previous models had a lower percentage of web collected information, with around 70 to 80 percent of data being collected in stores. The lower rate of in-store collection in the current sample is largely due to lingering effects of the COVID-19 data collection restrictions. Around 61 percent of prices were from February or March of 2023. There were over 240 different outlets in the sample and about 140 unique clothing brands. Private brands made up over half of the sample, accounting for over 53 percent of all observations. National brands made up approximately 45 percent of sample, with luxury and miscellaneous brands making up the remaining 2 percent.

Current Model

Table 1 presents the details of the estimation of the current model used to quality adjust boys’ shirts and sweaters.

Table 1. Parameter estimates for the hedonic regression for boys’ shirts and sweaters
Variable DF Parameter Estimate Standard Error t Value Pr > |t| Tolerance Statistic


1 3.13024 0.05050 61.98 <.0001

Fiber (continuous): Cotton

1 0.00093 0.00041 2.29 0.0226 0.63255

Fiber (continuous): Spandex

1 0.01624 0.00592 2.74 0.0062 0.84594

Fiber (continuous): Polyester or Rayon


Brand Category: Private

1 -0.25866 0.03054 -8.47 <.0001 0.60614

Brand Category: Miscellaneous

1 -0.32127 0.10085 -3.19 0.0015 0.76486

Brand Category: National


Type of Item Priced: Cardigan

1 0.76237 0.12932 5.9 <.0001 0.75046

Type of Item Priced: Sweater

1 0.60933 0.06981 8.73 <.0001 0.84481

Type of Item Priced: Open-Front Shirt

1 0.51838 0.03618 14.33 <.0001 0.7239

Type of Item Priced: Activewear Top

1 0.16357 0.04501 3.63 0.0003 0.61822

Type of Item Priced: Sweatshirt with Hood

1 0.61456 0.04506 13.64 <.0001 0.57463

Type of Item Priced: Sweatshirt with No Hood

1 0.4595 0.07591 6.05 <.0001 0.84549

Type of Item Priced: Pullover Shirt


Sleeve Length: Short Sleeves or Sleeveless

1 -0.1972 0.02989 -6.6 <.0001 0.63259

Sleeve Length: Long or 3/4 Length Sleeves


Form of Closure: Pullover Partly Opens with Fastener

1 0.34748 0.04432 7.84 <.0001 0.85633

Form of Closure: Pullover with No Fastener


NOTE: This model contains control variables for type of business, type of store, and geographic region, but they are not used in adjustments.

Summary notes

  • Quality adjustments derived from hedonic regressions for boys’ shirts and sweaters were introduced into the CPI in September 2004.
  • Type of item (cardigan, sweater, etc.), brand category, and fiber were a few of the characteristics that received a significant amount of focus in the development of this model.
    • Sleeve length has also proved to be an important feature in boys’ shirts models.  There has an been an adjustment for sleeve length present in every boys’ shirts model created to date.
  • This model is the first boys’ shirts and sweaters model to include an adjustment for activewear tops.
    • This is also the first boys’ shirts and sweaters models to have individual adjustments for sweatshirts with hoods and sweatshirts without hoods.
  • Details and features (cable knit, embroidery, screen print, etc.) have never played a significant role in any model for boys’ shirts.
  • Fabric design (solid color or multicolor) was present in the previous two models.  However, the current model does not include an adjustment for this.


Access data for boys' apparel in our online database.

Additional information

Additional information may be obtained from the Consumer Price Index Information Office by email or calling 202-691-7000. Information on the CPI's overall methodology can be found in the BLS Handbook of Methods.

Last Modified Date: July 20, 2023