NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Don Fast

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
International Price Program
Suite 3955 Postal Square Bdg
2 Massachusetts Ave, NE
Washington, DC

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Bureau of Labor Statistics

NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2019Unit Values for Import and Export Price Indexes – A Proof of Concept
with Susan Fleck: w26373
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ import and export price indexes (MXPI) are published from an ever decreasing sample relative to the size of trade. The Principal Federal Economic Indicator has an opportunity to retain and regain detailed MXPI using unit values calculated from comprehensive administrative trade data. Unit values are known to be biased, although bias is less prevalent among homogeneous products. This research presents a new methodological and statistical approach to blend unit values into official price indexes. First, a proof of concept for identifying homogeneous items is based on an analysis of two export products – dairy and vegetables – for 2015-16. The results provide a prototype and a roadmap for a consistent and testable approach that aligns with the concepts in...
August 2019Unit Values for Import and Export Price Indexes: A Proof of Concept
with Susan E. Fleck
in Big Data for 21st Century Economic Statistics, Katharine G. Abraham, Ron S. Jarmin, Brian Moyer, and Matthew D. Shapiro
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ import and export price indexes (MXPI) are published from an ever decreasing sample relative to the size of trade. The Principal Federal Economic Indicator has an opportunity to retain and regain detailed MXPI using unit values calculated from comprehensive administrative trade data. The unit values from the high-frequency, high-volume source present a dilemma for official price statistics, given that unit value indexes are known to not track price indexes. This BLS research proposes a new methodological and statistical approach to identify detailed homogeneous product categories that show minimal unit value bias to include in the MXPI. The proof of concept for identifying homogeneous items is based on an analysis of two export products—dairy and vegeta...
 
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