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Index Numbers

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  • Diewert, Erwin

Abstract

Index numbers are used to aggregate detailed information on prices and quantities into scalar measures of price and quantity levels or their growth. The paper reviews four main approaches to bilateral index number theory where two price and quantity vectors are to be aggregated: fixed basket and average of fixed baskets, stochastic, test or axiomatic and economic approaches. The paper also considers multilateral index number theory where it is necessary to construct price and quantity aggregates for more than two value aggregates. A final section notes some of the recent literature on related aspects of index number theory the construction of indexes when there is seasonality in the underlying data, sources of bias in consumer price indexes, the use of index numbers in measuring productivity, the problem of quality change and index number theory that is based on taking differences rather than ratios.

Suggested Citation

  • Diewert, Erwin, 2007. "Index Numbers," Economics working papers diewert-07-01-03-08-17-23, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 31 Jan 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:bricol:diewert-07-01-03-08-17-23
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Index numbers; stochastic; test and economic approaches to index number theory; hedonic regressions; bilateral index number theory; multilateral index;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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