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Weighting Scheme Comparison in the International Price Program in Web Forms

Patrick A. Bobbitt, MoonJung Cho, and Robert M. Eddy


The International Price Program (IPP) collects data on the United States' trade with foreign nations and publishes monthly indexes on the changes in import and export prices for both products and services. Recently, changes were recommended in the method of computing item weights for the IPP. These changes are expected to provide a reasonable weight formula and an efficient way to maintain weights and to improve the weights for the secondary classification systems. The recommended weighting method will be compared to the conventional method according to the magnitude of variance and bias of resulting indexes from the two methods. In addition, a MVUE will be computed as the benchmark estimator. The bootstrap method is the main tool to provide the necessary variance estimates in the study. We will provide the relevant literature review with special attention to the bootstrap method associated with complex sample designs. We also will present an overview of the IPP sample design and weight structure. Finally, we will describe the comparison study with an emphasis on goodness-of-fit criteria. The proposed methods are applied to selected subsets of items from the IPP.