NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

RESEARCH ON PRICE INDEX MEASUREMENT:AGENDAS FOR THE NEXT TWENTY YEARS

RESEARCH ON PRICE INDEX MEASUREMENT: AGENDAS FOR THE NEXT TWENTY YEARS



edited by Ernst R. Berndt, MIT and NBER

BACKGROUND

The year 1999 has marked twenty years since Martin Feldstein asked Zvi Griliches, and Zvi agreed, to head up a new NBER Program on Technological Change and Productivity Measurement. Over the last two decades, one of the important research emphases of this NBER program has been a focus on price and output measurement. As part of the twentieth anniversary and during the NBER's 1999 Summer Institute, Ernst Berndt and Zvi Griliches convened a panel of price index specialists to present their individual views on what research agendas they would propose as meriting highest priority over the next twenty years.

Individuals asked to make formal panel presentations on July 21, 1999, at the NBER Productivity Program of the Summer Institute, included: Charles Schultze (Brookings Institution, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Carter, and recently named to chair a National Academy of Sciences Panel on the Conceptual, Measurement and Other Statistical Issues in Developing Cost of Living Indexes); Zvi Griliches (Harvard and NBER); Katharine Abraham (Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics); W. Erwin Diewert (University of British Columbia and NBER); Brent Moulton (Associate Director for National Income, Expenditure and Wealth Accounts, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and formerly Director of the Office of Research on Prices and Living Conditions at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics); and Jack Triplett, Brookings Institution, and formerly Chief Economist at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis). In addition to those making formal presentations, a number of other individuals present at the panel session participated by making comments and raising related issues.

After the panel session, Ernst Berndt asked each of the formal presenters to write up his/her remarks. These edited remarks follow. Note that the comments by Zvi Griliches were not written up; they have been transcribed from notes taken by Ernst Berndt, and Zvi was not able to review them.

 
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