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Retrospectives: Price Indexes and General Exchange Values

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  • Joseph Persky

Abstract

The spreading use of indexes in the nineteenth century raised basic questions concerning the nature of absolute value in a neoclassical world of relative exchange values. Where Walsh held that the 'right' index for the general exchange value of money would identify true values, Jevons, Marshall, and especially Keynes were highly skeptical that such values could be defined without interpersonal comparisons of utility. Subsequent political debates over the use of indexation, especially those of World War II and the current period, have underlined the difficulty of identifying a true cost-of-living index applicable to all components of the population.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.12.1.197
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 12 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Pages: 197-205

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:12:y:1998:i:1:p:197-205

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.12.1.197
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  1. Boskin, Michael J, et al, 1997. "The CPI Commission: Findings and Recommendations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 78-83, May.
  2. Katherine G. Abraham, 2010. "Committee on Government Relations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 715-17, May.
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