The Division of Price and Index Number Research (PINR) conducts research to strengthen and improve existing price and expenditure measurement concepts and techniques and enhance the analytical usefulness of BLS programs.

Contact information about specific BLS data may be found at www.bls.gov/bls/contact.htm

Overview

Division of Price and Index Number Research

The Division was created in 1963 in response to the Stigler Commission Report on Federal price statistics. It has had a long and successful professional history, both in providing economic consulting services to the Bureau and in serving as a source of, and conduit for, new ideas in the economics profession.

A large portion of Division staff time is devoted to individual, long term research on both theoretical and empirical topics. Traditionally, Division research has been oriented toward resolution of measurement problems, using a wide range of methods from microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, consumer economics, industrial organization, labor economics, mathematical economics, econometrics, and statistics.

The Division also provides consulting services to the other price program Divisions as the need arises. For example, staff members have worked with analysts from the Consumer Price Program to develop and analyze the new C-CPI-U (superlative price index). Currently consulting efforts also include projects involving the Producer Price Index Program and the Consumer Expenditure Surveys.

Current research includes:

  • Developing methods to quality adjust medical prices
  • Evaluating the use of medical claims data as an alternative source of medical prices
  • Evaluating the measurement of health insurance prices
  • Redesigning indexes to utilize newly available corporate transaction data aggregators (e.g., JD Power Vehicles Data)
  • Development of automatizing data collection methods for price index programs
  • Developing quality adjustment methods with machine learning algorithms
  • Measuring the impact of formula assumptions for the CPI
  • Evaluating models of nonhomothetic demand underlying heterogeneous exact price index formulas
  • Developing new methods for computing a cost-of-living index
  • Developing housing price indexes accounting for neighborhood quality
  • Analyzing pricing zones and spatial price discrimination
  • Evaluating methods to incorporate surplus gains from variety into price index formulas
  • Evaluating methods of estimating the elasticity of demand between goods
  • Evaluating methods of measuring the consumer benefit of new goods
  • Constructing an improved historical CPI
  • Accounting for in-kind benefits in expenditure-based poverty thresholds
  • Developing method for distributing total factor productivity among production factors
  • Investigating estimation problems that can be solved using estimated multivariate time-series models

 

PINR Publications

 

PINR Frequently Asked Questions

 

Related Links

Other BLS Programs

  • Consumer Price Indexes—Monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services
  • Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE)—program consists of two surveys, the quarterly Interview Survey and the Diary Survey, that provide information on the buying habits of American consumers, including data on their expenditures, income, and consumer unit (families and single consumers) characteristics. The survey data are collected for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • International Price Program—produces Import/Export Price Indexes (MXP) containing data on changes in the prices of nonmilitary goods and services traded between the U.S. and the rest of the world.
  • Producer Price Index—program measures the average change over time in the selling prices received by domestic producers for their output. The prices included in the PPI are from the first commercial transaction for many products and some services.

Contact Us

General Information
    (202) 691-6573
Division Chief
  Vacant (202) 691-6575
Research Economists
  Adams, Brian (202) 691-6997
  Garner, Thesia (202) 691-6576
  Kurtzon, Greg (202) 691-6574
  Martin, Robert (202) 691-6952
  Matsumoto, Brett (202) 691-6597
  Sager, Erick (202) 691-6585
  Sung, Ilmo (202) 691-6582
  Zadrozny, Peter (202) 691-6591
Economists
  Cho, Caleb (202) 691-6544
  Munoz, Juan (202) 691-7854