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Someone made the same comment on my blog.

I agree it can be done (just a scan or camera-phone picture of the bill), but since the taxpayer money already fund collection, I think it's better to start by convincing those who are supposed to represent the general interest :).

I wanted to know more about all this economist secrecy stuff too.

by Laurent GUERBY on Mon Nov 20th, 2006 at 02:53:22 PM EST
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Yes, sure. It would also be interesting to push the large chains to release the information they collect under the guise of 'bonus cards'.

They not only can attach that data to individuals and thus to demographics, but it is also tracked by the hour.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Nov 20th, 2006 at 02:58:31 PM EST
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I'm wondering how my local mart is reacting to the data that is pouring in now that we have Costco.  Many items are more than 20% cheaper at the new big box than at safeway (a slightly smaller box).  And the service is better so "loyalty" is out the window.

I do know our gas stations are starting to squeal.  At first with Costco at $2.79 they were still holding to $3.09.  Not anymore.  Down to 2.89 and fading.  6-8 big high speed fueling stations has to be really taking a big market share.

by HiD on Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 04:22:09 AM EST
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I think it is easier to bypass the arrogant economists at the INSEE into irrelevance than to get them to open their archives.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 20th, 2006 at 03:05:45 PM EST
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I don't know INSEE economists or internal politics so I can't comment.

But I have some (small) hope that if a certain candidate is elected in 2007, a lot of arrogant people in the administration will have to deal with what citizen want and change a bit their habits.

by Laurent GUERBY on Mon Nov 20th, 2006 at 03:20:43 PM EST
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I just knew you were for Sarkozy. ;)

There's no reason why they shouldn't release price data. It doesn't have to indicate the names of the stores where it was collected. They release plenty of data about citizens from the census -- which (in France at least) is nominative, though no names are made public.

BTW, your experience with BLS and INSEE fits with my feelings about each, from attempting to collate data from their web sites. The BLS is fairly open, INSEE is fairly shut. I think INSEE has never been told to do otherwise. It's true it would be nice to see that change...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Nov 20th, 2006 at 03:55:50 PM EST
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:)

I don't see a reason to remove the store name, I don't ask them either to release their data on the spot. After say three monthes would be fine and would protect any hypothetical business interest while preserving usefulness for everyone.

I don't think INSEE is alone here, most (if not all) french administration have no culture of being friendly about releasing their data.

by Laurent GUERBY on Mon Nov 20th, 2006 at 04:17:55 PM EST
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Fits with the tradition of enlightened despotism.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 20th, 2006 at 04:31:40 PM EST
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With the qualifier that INSEE's remit is actually to provide data... :-)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 21st, 2006 at 12:03:37 PM EST
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The fact is, in France, they used to (until they started reading the FT...)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 20th, 2006 at 04:57:37 PM EST
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They all want to work for banks or what :)
by Laurent GUERBY on Mon Nov 20th, 2006 at 05:13:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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