Outlet substitution

The phenomenon in which consumers switch outlet patronage for price or cost-of-living reasons; typically used to describe situations in which consumers switch from purchasing a good at a high-price seller to a lower-priced competitor.

Overlap pricing

In item replacement a method that can be used when both old and new models are available in at least one period.

Paasche index

A price index that weights expenditure shares by the comparison period (typically the most current) consumption patterns. It measures the percentage difference in expenditures between what it would cost the household to buy the comparison period quantities at the old prices and what it costs at the new ones.

Personal consumption expenditure (PCE) data

A measure of consumer expenditure shares, produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), based on aggregate sales data.

Personal consumption expenditure (PCE) deflator

A chain price index (that uses a Fisher ideal index) for personal consumption expenditures based (mainly) on CPI-collected prices and PCE weights.

Plutocratic index

A price index in which all dollars of expenditure (or income) are treated equally so that, implicitly, each household is weighted proportional to its expenditures.

Point of Purchase Survey (POPS)

A survey of households, conducted by the Census Bureau, used in the CPI to determine the distribution of households’ expenditures across specific outlets.

Private good

A good or service sold in markets, whose benefits can be limited to those who pay for it.


One of the 87 primary sampling units that are the geographic delineations from which prices are surveyed.

Public good

A good that (1) is available to all if it is available to one and (2) whose consumption by one person does not reduce the amount available to others.

Reference period

The first period in a price or cost-of-living comparison.

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