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

Listed author(s):
  • Lippe Peter Michael von der


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

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).

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik).

Volume (Year): 233 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 336-366

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Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:233:y:2013:i:3:p:336-366
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  1. Balk,Bert M., 2012. "Price and Quantity Index Numbers," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107404960, August.
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