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Recurrent Price Index Problems and Some Early German Papers on Index Numbers: Notes on Laspeyres, Paasche, Drobisch, and Lehr

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  • Lippe Peter Michael von der

    () (Universität Duisburg-Essen Campus Duisburg,Mercator School of Management, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg, Germany)

Abstract

With Laspeyres, Paasche and other authors such as Drobisch and Lehr, Germany made quite a promising start in index theory in the last decades of the 19th century. However, it soon lost ground after this period, which is described in this paper. The focus is not on biographies but on controversies where these persons acted as opponents and developed the views for which they are well known. The issues selected are primarily those which are still interesting and controversial today, e. g. the merits and demerits of certain index formulas, the definition and updating of weights, “pure” price comparison vs. chain indices etc. However, in order to aid a better understanding of how Laspeyres etc. arrived at their index formulas and views about the purposes index numbers should serve, some attention is also given to the typical disputes and prejudices of that time (e. g. regarding inflation under the regime of a gold currency).

Suggested Citation

  • Lippe Peter Michael von der, 2013. "Recurrent Price Index Problems and Some Early German Papers on Index Numbers: Notes on Laspeyres, Paasche, Drobisch, and Lehr," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(3), pages 336-366, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:233:y:2013:i:3:p:336-366
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Balk,Bert M., 2012. "Price and Quantity Index Numbers," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107404960, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. von der Lippe, Peter, 2014. "The Stochastic Approach to Index Numbers: Needless and Useless," MPRA Paper 60839, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. von der Lippe, Peter, 2015. "Bortkiewicz on Chain Indices and Irving Fisher's Reversal Tests, A Historical Note and a Disapproval of the Time Reversal Test," MPRA Paper 63833, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Franz Wolfgang & Winker Peter, 2013. "Guest Editorial," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(3), pages 260-265, June.
    4. von der Lippe, Peter, 2015. "Generalized Statistical Means and New Price Index Formulas, Notes on some unexplored index formulas, their interpretations and generalizations," MPRA Paper 64952, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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