Economic Measurement and Consumer Behavior

In one chapters in his thesis, Serhat Ugurlu and coauthors analyze the alleged undervaluation of the Chinese currency against the US dollar.
In chapter two in his thesis, Serhat Ugurlu and coauthors analyze the alleged undervaluation of the Chinese currency against the US dollar. The study, according to the authors, exemplifies why accurate price measurement is important.
PhD Defense

12 June 2018 10:28

Economic Measurement and Consumer Behavior

On Monday 25 June 2018 Serhat Ugurlu will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and defend his thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.

Serhat Ugurlu
Serhat Ugurlu, PhD Candidate at the Department of Economics, NHH.

Prescribed topic for the trial lecture:

Consumer demand - Theoretical predictions and empirical evidence based on disaggregated data

Trial lecture:

14:15 in Jebsen Centre, NHH

Title of the thesis:

Essays in Economic Measurement and Consumer Behavior


The thesis discusses various issues regarding price measurement and analysis of consumer demand from a methodological point of view. The primary focus on all chapters is theory-based measurement, which is necessary for economic measures with explicit welfare interpretations.

The first chapter develops a new methodology to evaluate how consumers respond to changes in prices and incomes. The methodology is designed to yield estimates of consumers' responses that comply with prominent economic theories about consumer behavior. The feasibility of the approach, and how it can be used to obtain welfare impacts of different price policies, are illustrated with a household-level national data set.

The second chapter, which is a joint work with Ingvild Almås, Mandeep Grewal, and Marielle Hvide, exemplifies why accurate price measurement is important by evaluating whether the Chinese renminbi (RMB) was undervalued against the US dollar (USD) as of 2011. The relationship between the research question and price measurement comes from a deep link between international measures of prices (purchasing power parities, PPP) and a prominent methodology to evaluate whether a currency is misaligned. The chapter concludes that there is no evidence for an alleged undervaluation of RMB against USD and that this result is robust to a comprehensive analyzes of possible statistical models using PPPs.

The third chapter, which is written jointly with Ingvild Almås and Thomas F. Crossley, combines consumer behavior with price measurement. The chapter explicitly focuses on developing alternative methodologies to obtain price aggregates when consumers have different tastes for a set of commodities. Compared to existing approaches, the approaches that are developed in this chapter yield economic aggregates that are consistent with economic theories even when tastes differ. They also satisfy some imperative axiomatic properties. Types of price measures that can be obtained by using the developed approaches are exemplified using household-level national data sets from three countries.



16:15 in Jebsen Centre, NHH

Members of the evaluation committee:

Professor Gernot Doppelhofer (leader of the committee), Department of Economics, NHH
Professor Ian Crawford, Professor at University of Oxford
Professor Marcel Timmer, University of Groningen


Professor Ingvild Almås (main supervisor), Department of Economics and FAIR, NHH and visiting professor IIES at Stockholm University

Professor Thomas F. Crossley, University of Essex

The trial lecture and thesis defence will be open to the public. Copies of the thesis will be available from