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USING ENGEL CURVES TO ESTIMATE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX BIAS FOR THE ELDERLY

James Gorry and Dean Scrimgeour

Contemporary Economic Policy, 2018, vol. 36, issue 3, 539-553

Abstract: Over the last 30 years, the share of total expenditure devoted to food has declined more rapidly for elderly†headed households than for other households. This decline is not explained by a more rapid increase in measured total expenditure for the elderly, or by relative change in other covariates such as household composition. We present this as evidence that the true cost of living increased more slowly for the elderly than for the nonelderly over this period, in contrast to conventional wisdom that the elderly face a higher inflation rate. (JEL E31, J14)

Date: 2018
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