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An Index Number Formula Problem; The Aggregation of Broadly Comparable items

Author

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  • Mick Silver

Abstract

Index number theory informs us that if data on matched prices and quantities are available, a superlative index number formula is best to aggregate heterogeneous items, and a unit value index to aggregate homogeneous ones. The formulas can give very different results. Neglected is the practical case of broadly comparable items. This paper provides a formal analysis as to why such formulas differ and proposes a solution to this index number problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Mick Silver, 2009. "An Index Number Formula Problem; The Aggregation of Broadly Comparable items," IMF Working Papers 09/19, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:09/19
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    File URL: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=22557
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hong, Pilky & McAfee, R. Preston & Nayyar, Ashish, 2002. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion with Consumer Inventories," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 503-517, August.
    2. Mick Silver & Saeed Heravi, 2006. "Why Elementary Price Index Number Formulas Differ; Price Dispersion and Product Heterogeneity," IMF Working Papers 06/174, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Mick Silver, 2007. "Do Unit Value Export, Import, and Terms of Trade Indices Represent or Misrepresent Price Indices?," IMF Working Papers 07/121, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
    5. Jerry Hausman & Ephraim Leibtag, 2009. "CPI Bias from Supercenters: Does the BLS Know that Wal-Mart Exists?," NBER Chapters,in: Price Index Concepts and Measurement, pages 203-231 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Alan T. Sorensen, 2000. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion in Retail Markets for Prescription Drugs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 833-862, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Diewert W.Erwin & Lippe Peter von der, 2010. "Notes on Unit Value Index Bias," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(6), pages 690-708, December.
    2. de Haan, Jan & Diewert, W. Erwin & Fox, Kevin J., 2015. "Weekly versus Monthly Unit Value Price Indexes," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2015-15, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 20 Jul 2015.
    3. Lorraine Ivancic & Kevin J. Fox, 2013. "Understanding Price Variation Across Stores and Supermarket Chains: Some Implications for CPI Aggregation Methods," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 59(4), pages 629-647, December.
    4. Mick Silver, 2010. "The Wrongs And Rights Of Unit Value Indices," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(s1), pages 206-223, June.

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