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At What Price?: Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes (2002)

Chapter: Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff

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Suggested Citation:"Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff." National Research Council. 2002. At What Price?: Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10131.
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Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff

Charles L. Schultze (chair) is a Senior Fellow Emeritus at the Brookings Institution. In addition to holding academic positions at Indiana University and the University of Maryland, he served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and director of the U.S. Bureau of the Budget. He was president of the American Economic Association in 1984, and he served as chair, and of the Panel on Census Requirements in the Year 2000 and Beyond of the National Research Council.

Ernst R. Berndt is the Louis B. Seley Professor of Applied Economics in the Alfred P. Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1980. His research focuses on sources of productivity growth, on adjusting computer price measures to account for quality change, and on price and productivity measurement in health care industries. He has written on the measurement of pharmaceutical price changes, on measuring prices of medical treatments that account for changes in outcomes, and has provided testimony before Congress about international pharmaceutical price comparisons. He is an elected Fellow of the Econometric Society, served as member and cochair of the American Economics Association Advisory Committee to the U.S. Census Bureau, is currently the first chairperson of the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee, and also serves as director of the National Bureau of Economic Research Program on Technological Change and Productivity Measurement.

Suggested Citation:"Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff." National Research Council. 2002. At What Price?: Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10131.
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Angus Deaton is Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School and Economics Department of Princeton University. His areas of expertise include applied econometrics and the analysis of household behavior. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Econometric Society and was the first recipient of the Society’s Frisch Medal for applied econometrics. He served as a member of the panel on poverty measurement of the National Research Council.

Erwin Diewert is a professor in the Department of Economics at the University of British Columbia. He is a member of the Statistics Canada Services Advisory Committee, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a fellow of the Econometric Society, and chairman of the Statistics Canada Advisory Committee on Prices. His fields of interest include microeconomic theory, mathematical economics, international trade, public finance, measurement economics and accounting, nonparametric estimation and smoothing methods. He has published extensively on topics relating to theory and development of price indexes.

Claudia Goldin is Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where she is director of the Development of the American Economy Program. She is currently an associate editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sciences and of the Econometric Society. Her research has focused on historical analyses of the female labor force, slavery, immigration, education, and economic inequality. She is best known for Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women and is the editor of numerous volumes including The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century.

Zvi Griliches was Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics at Harvard University. His fields of interest included the economics of research and technological change, econometric methods, rates of return to investment in education, the measurement of quality bias in price indexes, and patent statistics. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and served as a member of the Committee on National Statistics. He also served on the Advisory Commission to Study the Consumer Price Index, established by the Senate Finance Committee.

Christopher Jencks is Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy at the Kennedy School at Harvard University. His recent research has dealt with changes in the material standard of living over the past generation, homelessness, welfare reform, the black-white test score gap, and poverty measurement. His book credits include The Academic Revolution (with David Riesman), Inequality, Who

Suggested Citation:"Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff." National Research Council. 2002. At What Price?: Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10131.
×

Gets Ahead? The Urban Underclass, Rethinking Social Policy, The Homeless, and most recently, The Black-White Test Score Gap (with Meredith Phillips). He is a member the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and serves on the editorial board of The American Prospect.

Christopher Mackie is a study director with the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT). In addition to working with this panel, he is working on projects on nonmarket economic accounting and data access and confidentiality. Prior to joining CNSTAT, he was a senior economist with SAG Corporation, where he conducted a variety of econometric studies in the areas of labor and personnel economics, primarily for federal agencies. He completed his Ph.D. in economics at the University of North Carolina and, while a graduate student, held teaching positions at the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, and Tulane University. He is author of Canonizing Economic Theory.

Albert Madansky is the H.G.B. Alexander Professor Emeritus of Business Administration in the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Business. He has been a mathematician at the RAND corporation, vice president of the Interpublic Group of Companies, president of a computer software and data processing firm, chairman of the computer sciences department at City College of New York, and a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and the Econometric Society and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. His primary research is in the area multivariate statistical analysis. He is the author of Foundations of Econometrics and of Prescriptions for Working Statisticians.

Van Doorn Ooms is Senior Vice President and Director of Research at the Committee for Economic Development, where he has supervised and conducted research in a large number of public policy areas including education, social security and pensions, labor markets, welfare and poverty, international trade and finance, and campaign finance. His primary specialties are in macroeconomics and public finance, with emphasis on the political economy of the federal budget. He was the chief economist of (successively) the Senate Budget Committee, The Office of Management and Budget, and the House Budget Committee. Previously, he was a professor of economics at Swarthmore College.

Robert A. Pollak is the Hernreich Distinguished Professor of Economics at the College of Arts and Sciences and the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to his current appointment, he was a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s faculty for 26 years. His areas of expertise include environmental economics and policy, consumer behavior, labor econom

Suggested Citation:"Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff." National Research Council. 2002. At What Price?: Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10131.
×

ics, demography, and human capital theory. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a fellow of the Econometric Society, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Richard Schmalensee is the Gordon Y. Billard Professor of Economics and Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Concurrently, he is dean of the Sloan School of Management, director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association and, from 1989-1991, served on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He is also a member of the Committee on National Statistics or the National Research Council.

Norbert Schwarz is a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan and a senior research scientist at Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Prior to joining the University of Michigan, he taught psychology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. His research focuses on social cognition, the interplay of feeling and thinking, conversational influences on judgment and reasoning, and applications of cognitive psychology to methodological issues of survey research. His research has advanced creative methods in the areas of survey elicitation and on perceptions of well-being and quality of life. He is a former fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and a recipient of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Preis of the German Department of Science and Education.

Kirk Wolter is professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of Chicago and senior vice-president of statistics and methodology at the National Opinion Research Center. He specializes in sample survey design, federal statistical policy, international statistics, marketing research, census requirements and methods, and sampling/survey training research. Previously he was chief of the Statistical Research Division at the U.S. Bureau of the Census and Vice-President Worldwide for the A.C. Nielson Company. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the International Statistical Institute. He is also President Elect of the International Association of Survey Statisticians.

Suggested Citation:"Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff." National Research Council. 2002. At What Price?: Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10131.
×
Page 315
Suggested Citation:"Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff." National Research Council. 2002. At What Price?: Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10131.
×
Page 316
Suggested Citation:"Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff." National Research Council. 2002. At What Price?: Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10131.
×
Page 317
Suggested Citation:"Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff." National Research Council. 2002. At What Price?: Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10131.
×
Page 318
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How well does the consumer price index (CPI) reflect the changes that people actually face in living costs—from apples to computers to health care? Given how it is used, is it desirable to construct the CPI as a cost-of-living index (COLI)? With what level of accuracy is it possible to construct a single index that represents changes in the living costs of the nation’s diverse population?

At What Price? examines the foundations for consumer price indexes, comparing the conceptual and practical strengths, weaknesses, and limitations of traditional “fixed basket” and COLI approaches. The book delves into a range of complex issues, from how to deal with the changing quality of goods and services, including difficult-to-define medical services, to how to weight the expenditure patterns of different consumers. It sorts through the key attributes and underlying assumptions that define each index type in order to answer the question: Should a COLI framework be used in constructing the U.S. CPI?

In answering this question, the book makes recommendations as to how the Bureau of Labor Statistics can continue to improve the accuracy and relevance of the CPI. With conclusions that could affect the amount of your next pay raise, At What Price? is important to everyone, and a must-read for policy makers, researchers, and employers.

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