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Economic Perspectives, 35, 4th, No. 4, 2011
How Do Benefit Adjustments for Government Transfer Programs Compare with Their Participants' Inflation Experiences?

The authors measure the inflation experienced by demographic groups that likely received benefits from major government transfer programs during the period 1980–2010. They then compare the group-specific inflation measures with the transfer programs’ benefit adjustments, which are typically based on aggregate inflation. The extent to which the program benefits keep up with group inflation differs across the programs and their targeted groups, depending on both the ways in which the benefits are adjusted for price changes and the spending patterns of the various groups.



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