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Price and Quantity Measurements: Theoretical Biases in Empirical Procedures

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  • Nitzan, Jonathan

Abstract

The presence of qualitative changes in the nature of many commodities hinders our ability to construct meaningful price and quantity indices. This paper assesses some of the quality-change literature that seeks to resolve this problem. Several writers have endeavoured to develop objective, theory-neutral procedures designed to measure qualitative changes in some timeless, quantitative units. These measures, they argued, could be used to properly adjust ordinary price and quantity statistics for distortions introduced by quality changes. A careful examination suggests, however, that such procedures are neither objective nor free of theoretical biases. First, all existing attempts to develop ‘objective’ commodity measures in the presence of quality changes are besieged by a constant resort – explicit or implicit – to ‘subjective’ considerations. Second, both the idea that quality can be measured and the methods developed for that purpose are closely tied with the neoclassical theoretical paradigm, particularly with its emphasis on perfect competition and equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Nitzan, Jonathan, 1989. "Price and Quantity Measurements: Theoretical Biases in Empirical Procedures," EconStor Preprints 157849, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:esprep:157849
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/157849/1/bna-137_890101N_Price_and_Quantity_Measurements.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fix, Blair & Nitzan, Jonathan & Bichler, Shimshon, 2019. "Real GDP: The Flawed Metric at the Heart of Macroeconomics," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 51-59.
    2. Nitzan, Jonathan & Bichler, Shimshon, 2018. "El capital como poder. Un estudio del orden y el creorden," EconStor Books, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, number 177844.
    3. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2018. "CasP's 'Differential Accumulation' versus Veblen's 'Differential Advantage'," Working Papers on Capital as Power 2018/08, Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism.
    4. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2013. "Can Capitalists Afford Recovery? Economic Policy When Capital is Power," Working Papers on Capital as Power 2013/01, Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism.
    5. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2016. "A CasP Model of the Stock Market," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 119-154.
    6. Nitzan, Jonathan & Bichler, Shimshon, 2019. "CasP's 'Differential Accumulation' versus Veblen's 'Differential Advantage' (Revised and Expanded)," Working Papers on Capital as Power 2019/01, Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism.
    7. Nitzan, Jonathan & Bichler, Shimshon, 2018. "Arms and Oil in the Middle East: A Biography of Research," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 418-440.
    8. Nitzan, Jonathan & Bichler, Shimshon, 2014. "Can Capitalists Afford Recovery? Three Views on Economic Policy in Times of Crisis," Review of Capital as Power, Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism, vol. 1(1), pages 110-155.
    9. Kliman, Andrew & Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2011. "Systemic Crisis, Systemic Fear: An Exchange," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 61-118.
    10. Nitzan, Jonathan & Bichler, Shimshon, 2006. "New Imperialism or New Capitalism?," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1-86.
    11. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2017. "Growing through Sabotage: Energizing Hierarchical Power," Working Papers on Capital as Power 2017/02, Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism.
    12. Nitzan, Jonathan & Bichler, Shimshon, 2018. "The CasP Project: Past, Present, Future," Review of Capital as Power, Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism, vol. 1(3), pages 1-39.
    13. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2020. "Growing through Sabotage: Energizing Hierarchical Power," Review of Capital as Power, Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism, vol. 1(5), pages 1-78.

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