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Recovering Historical Inflation Data from Postage Stamps Prices

Philip Hans Franses and Eva Janssens ()
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Eva Janssens: Econometric Institute, Erasmus School of Economics, Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Journal of Risk and Financial Management, 2017, vol. 10, issue 4, 1-11

Abstract: For many developing countries, historical inflation figures are rarely available. We propose a simple method that aims to recover such figures of inflation using prices of postage stamps issued in earlier years. We illustrate our method for Suriname, where annual inflation rates are available for 1961 until 2015, and where fluctuations in inflation rates are prominent. We estimate the inflation rates for the sample 1873 to 1960. Our main finding is that high inflation periods usually last no longer than 2 or 3 years. An Exponential Generalized Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity (EGARCH) model for the recent sample and for the full sample with the recovered inflation rates shows the relevance of adding the recovered data.

Keywords: inflation; postage stamps; price recovery; historical time series; EGARCH (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C E F2 F3 G (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Working Paper: Recovering historical inflation data from postal stamps prices (2016) Downloads
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