IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Interpretation of Unit Value Indices - Unit Value Indices as Proxies for Price Indices


  • von der Lippe, Peter


The unit value index (UVI) as compiled in Germany for exports and imports is compared with two other indices, viz. an index of Drobisch which unfortunately is likewise known as "unit value index" and the "normal" Laspeyres price index (PI) of exports and imports. The UVI may be viewed as a Paasche index compiled in two stages where unit values instead of prices are used in the low level aggregation stage. Unit values are average prices referring to an ag-gregate of (more or less homogeneous) commodities. The focus of the paper is on the decom-position of the discrepancy between UVIs and PIs (the "unit value bias") into a (well known) Laspeyres (or substitution) effect or "L-effect" and a structural component or "S-effect" due to substituting unit values for prices. It is shown that amount and sign of S depends on the corre-lation between the change of quantities of those goods that are included in the aggregate and their respective base period prices. By contrast to L the correlation between quantity and price movement is not relevant for S. This paper is a revised version of my contribution to the 11th Ottawa Group Meeting in Neuchatel (Switzerland) 27th to 29th May 2009

Suggested Citation

  • von der Lippe, Peter, 2010. "The Interpretation of Unit Value Indices - Unit Value Indices as Proxies for Price Indices," MPRA Paper 24743, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24743

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Price index; unit value index; unit values; axioms; foreign trade statistics; Bortkiewicz; Drobisch.;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24743. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.