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Teaching Index Numbers to economists


  • Robert O’Neill
  • Caroline Elliott


Economic statistics are frequently reported in the form of index numbers. This article considers how the field of Index Numbers should be approached in the teaching of a general economic degree. While the topic finds a natural home in statistics modules, it is emphasised that the area can also be referred to in the teaching of other areas of economics. It is also emphasised that the differences between Index Numbers theory and the practice of compiling economic statistics such as inflation can help students gain a better understanding of applied economic statistics. Methods for assessing learning in the area are also considered and available material to support teaching is also summarised.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert O’Neill & Caroline Elliott, 2015. "Teaching Index Numbers to economists," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 1115625-111, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oaefxx:v:3:y:2015:i:1:p:1115625
    DOI: 10.1080/23322039.2015.1115625

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter Levell, 2015. "Is the Carli index flawed?: assessing the case for the new retail price index RPIJ," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 178(2), pages 303-336, February.
    2. Lloyd, P J, 1975. "Substitution Effects and Biases in Nontrue Price Indices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 301-313, June.
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