The Working Group "Regional Price Comparisons," appointed by the German Data Forum (RatSWD), has begun its assigned task. The goal of the Working Group is to discuss the varying possibilities for data collection as well as to formulate recommendations on how a regional price level index may be established. Presently, the Working Group is jointly chaired by Joachim Möller (Director of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) from the Federal Research Institute of the Federal Employment Agency (BA)) and Uwe Blien (also from the IAB). Its constituent meeting took place in Berlin on the 28th of April.
Although detailed information on price level developments over time are indeed available via the calculation of the consumer price index, to date no valid conclusions have been able to be drawn on the differences in price levels between cities, districts or different areas of economic activity more generally. The need for spatially segmented statistical information and economic analyses has become an issue of growing importance and has accordingly received a growing amount of attention from both sides of politics as well as from scientists.
The goal of "Regional Price Comparisons" Working Group is to examine the feasibility of establishing regional price indices at the district level. The preliminary measures necessary for this feasibility study require first the initial calculation of differences in price levels across regions as well as the development of methods which can be used to obtain the continuous annual provision of regional price data.
The quality of and access to the data, as well as the methodology used, should all be presented in the most transparent of manners possible. This point is especially important, as it is envisaged that regional price indices eventually be integrated into the published statistics of official statistical agencies.
The Working Group is based upon two advisory workshops organised by the German Data Forum (RatSWD), one in 2008 entitled 'Weißer Fleck' Regionale Preisindizes - wie kann die Wissenslücke geschlossen werden?" ("The blank spot regarding regional price indices - how to overcome the knowledge gap,") and the other in 2009 entitled "Regionale Preisindizes" ("Regional Price Indices,").
Status: The WG has suspended its work.
Members of the Working Group
- Irmtraud Beuerlein, German Federal Statistical Office
- Prof. Dr. Uwe Blien, Institute for Employment Research of the Federal Employment Service (Chair)
- Prof. Dr. Georg Götz, Giessen University
- Prof. Dr. Georg Hirte, Dresden University
- Eckart Hohmann, President of the State Statistical Office of Hesse
- Dr. Rupert Kawka, Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development
- Dr. Stefan Linz, German Federal Statistical Office
- Prof. Dr. Dr. Joachim Möller, Institute for Employment Research of the Federal Employment Service (Chair)
- Prof. Dr. Susanne Rässler, University of Bamberg
- Markus Sigismund, Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development
- Heiko Stüber, Institute for Employment Research of the Federal Employment Service
- Matthias Waltersbacher, Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development