Income and Expenditure Accounts Technical Series
Constructing Provincial Time Series: A Discussion of Data Sources and Methods
5. City-based consumer price indexes
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Historical consumer price indexes (CPIs) are not available by province. However, they are available for major cities. This leaves two options for creating historical CPI estimates. One is to link the current vintage provincial CPI to historical estimates of city-specific CPIs. The second is to link city CPIs through time, and apply them to provincial income estimates to produce real income series. The latter method was chosen because it yields more consistency in the price series over time, which facilitates examinations beyond those in Brown and Macdonald (2015). It also results in a more consistent measurement error over time, which provides more stability in the direction of biases.
|City||Province||Measured sample span||Instruments|
|St. John’s||Newfoundland and Labrador||1952 to present||Average of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick, for 1949 to 1951|
|Charlottetown and Summerside||Prince Edward Island||1974 to present||Saint John for 1926 to 1973|
|Halifax||Nova Scotia||1926 to present||Note ...: not applicable|
|Saint John||New Brunswick||1926 to present||Note ...: not applicable|
|Montréal||Quebec||1926 to present||Note ...: not applicable|
|Toronto||Ontario||1926 to present||Note ...: not applicable|
|Winnipeg||Manitoba||1926 to present||Note ...: not applicable|
|Regina||Saskatchewan||1926 to present||Note ...: not applicable|
|Calgary||Alberta||1926 to present||Note ...: not applicable|
|Vancouver||British Columbia||1926 to present||Note ...: not applicable|
|Whitehorse||Yukon||1983 to present||Note ...: not applicable|
|Yellowknife||Northwest Territories||1983 to present||Note ...: not applicable|
|Iqaluit||Nunavut||2003 to present||Note ...: not applicable|
... not applicable
Source: Statistics Canada.
Price indexes for a major city from each province from three sources are linked. These indexes provide long-term measures of price growth. For 1971 to 2011, the data are from CANSIM table 326-0021. For 1940 to 1970, city-CPI estimates are from Series K23 of the Historical Statistics of Canada. For 1926 to 1939, the data source is Emery and Levitt (2002). These sources do not provide as much breadth through time as income or population estimates (Table 1). Data for St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, begin in 1952. An average of price movements from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick, are used to back-cast St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, for 1949 to 1952. Estimates for Charlottetown and Summerside, Prince Edward Island, begin in 1974. To produce historical estimates, the series for Saint John, New Brunswick, is used to back-cast the historical series.
The use of cities in neighbouring provinces when data are missing provides a balanced panel dataset. This facilitates internal instrumental variable estimation, but it also introduces measurement error. The trade-off between including or omitting these data points depends on the use of the data and the methods chosen for estimation.