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

  • Mick Silver

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.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 09/19.

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Length: 22
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:09/19
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  1. Jerry Hausman & Ephraim Leibtag, 2004. "CPI Bias from Supercenters: Does the BLS Know that Wal-Mart Exists?," NBER Working Papers 10712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  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.
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