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Irving Fisher and Index Number Theory

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  • Diewert, Erwin

Abstract

There are four main approaches to bilateral index number theory: the fixed basket, stochastic, test and economic approaches. The paper reviews the contributions of Irving Fisher to these approaches to index number theory which are still in use today. The paper also reviews Fisher’s contributions to multilateral index number theory. The main themes of the paper are developed in the context of a review of the early history of index number theory: a history that conveys a wealth of information and insight into the making and use of index numbers today.

Suggested Citation

  • Diewert, Erwin, 2012. "Irving Fisher and Index Number Theory," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2012-9, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 01 Mar 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:bricol:erwin_diewert-2012-9
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    File URL: http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/ediewert/dp1202.pdf
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    Keywords

    Price indexes; quantity indexes; bilateral price indexes; multilateral price indexes; the Fisher ideal index; the test approach to index number theory;

    JEL classification:

    • B16 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Quantitative and Mathematical
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • 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
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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