Abstract: This article deals with a central issue that has not been addressed systematically in the literature, namely, computation of the price index at the most fundamental level. At this level of computation, several alternative methods are available, each with its own particular advantages and disadvantages. The Israeli CPI is calculated using the average of price indices of goods belonging to a certain item category; this method is consistent with the formula used for computing the index at aggregate levels (the Laspeyres index), and barring certain exceptions, does not assign unreasonable weights to the price observations comprising the given item.…Another issue addressed in this paper is the computation of an item using the “chain” method rather than comparing current prices with those in a given base period. These two methods are shown, on actual price series in the Israeli CPI. The index computed as a chain (as compiled in the Israeli CPI) does not usually have any bias in comparison to the index computed as “base period index”.
Abstract: Statistics Netherlands changed its system of consumer price indices, starting with the February 1994 figures, together with the regular base year change (from 1985 to 1990). Price indices of household consumption, according to the (old) SNA definition, were replaced by price indices which can be conceived as (partial) cost-of-living indices. There are indices for three groups of households. In addition to these three “central” indices we calculate three “derived” indices, viz. cost-of-living indices excluding the direct effect of changes in the rates of commodity taxes and consumption-related taxes. In this communication the motivations for these changes will be clarified.
Abstract: Quality in official statistics in one aspect relates to how the statistical procedures are designed and implemented in order to assure an adequate statistical quality, and to achieve this in a cost-effective way. Another equally important aspect relates to methods and techniques for assessing the level of quality actually arrived at. This paper considers both these aspects through a system for quality assurance and assessment developed for the annual Census of Agriculture in Sweden, which is arranged as a permanent panel study. The system depends on a matrix approach: the census variables form one dimension and the operations (data collection,…data entry, etc.) form the other. In principle each combination of these two dimensions has been analysed with regard to error sources and error mechanisms as well as possible methods to prevent, detect, correct and measure the errors.
Abstract: The transformations and concerns facing our societies pose formidable challenges to statistics and statisticians. There remain considerable shortcomings in the supply of policy-relevant social statistics and indicators, both at the national and international level. The paper reviews progress in the field, identifying the reasons for the existing gaps and prospects for enhancing work. Three areas are indicated as the most promising for priority action: 1) the development of broader frameworks, including accounting frameworks, specifying linkages and sequences involving social phenomena in relation to economic environmental and institutional ones; 2) the use of micro-data for modelling and policy simulation;…3) the experimentation of policy-oriented and user-friendly statistical indicators. The paper concludes by formulating proposals for revisiting the research agenda in this area and giving National Statistical Institutes a greater role among the many players involved, including the research community and local institutions. The discussion of these proposals has been the basis for the initiative taken by Statistics Sweden, Statistics Norway and Istat to activate the “Siena Group on Social Statistics”.