518PART EIGHTTHE DATA OF MACROECONOMICSThere is still much debate among economists about how severe these mea-surement problems are and what should be done about them. The issue is impor-tant because many government programs use the consumer price index to adjustfor changes in the overall level of prices. Recipients of Social Security, for instance,get annual increases in benefits that are tied to the consumer price index. Someeconomists have suggested modifying these programs to correct for the measure-ment problems. For example, most studies conclude that the consumer price indexoverstates inflation by about 1 percentage point per year (although recentimprovements in the CPI have reduced this upward bias somewhat). In responseto these findings, Congress could change the Social Security program so that ben-efits increased every year by the measured inflation rate minus 1 percentage point.Such a change would provide a crude way of offsetting the measurement prob-
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