Topical Papers

This area displays papers which may be of interest in the current climate, to producers and users of statistics.

A sub-page has been created, Opinions on Topical Issues, which also may be of interest. Contributions are also very welcome here.

All statistical estimates make use of some models and assumptions. At times of change, these approaches are less likely to reflect what is actually taking place, as we generally use methods which do not react to every change. So it is a paradox that at times of recession the statistical estimates are both most important and least certain.

One solution is to have a different approach during recession. But then we have to make a decision about when a recession starts in order to trigger the change; and this process itself may trigger a discontinuity in the measurements just when we are trying to estimate change. So ideally we want processes that work well both in normal times and recessions.

More research on the best approaches to measurement during times of recession are needed. The papers [below] give some pointers and ideas, but it would be great to have a discussion and share ideas on this problem. If you have any papers or reports which would be suitable, please send an email to to contribute.

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BrandMartinUK Office for National StatisticsUnited Kingdom
Methodological Issues Arising for the Office for National Statistics from the Recession2009/09EESW09


SimkinsAileenONSUKPaul A. Smith, Martin BrandFinancial crisis and
recession: how
ONS has addressed
the statistical and
analytical challenges
2010/01Published in Economic and Labour Market Review

Financial crisis and recession: how ONS has addressed the statistical and analytical challenges.pdf

DiewertErwinNational Bureau of Economic ResearchCambridge Boston, USKevin Fox

Measuring Real Consumption and CPI Bias under Lockdown Conditions

2020/04Working PaperMeasuring Real Consumption and CPI Bias under Lockdown Conditions.pdf
LinkKoenStatistics NetherlandsThe NetherlandsAntonio ChessaImpact of imputation methods on the CPI and HICP in view of the COVID-19 crisis2020/04Guidance

Link to this and other related papers:

Compilation of CPI in times of COVID-19

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