Price and quantity indices are important, much-used measuring instruments, and it is therefore necessary to have a good understanding of their properties. When it was published, this book is the first comprehensive text on index number theory since Irving Fisher's 1922 The Making of Index Numbers. The book covers intertemporal and interspatial comparisons; ratio- and difference-type measures; discrete and continuous time environments; and upper- and lower-level indices. Guided by economic insights, this book develops the instrumental or axiomatic approach. There is no role for behavioural assumptions. In addition to subject matter chapters, two entire chapters are devoted to the rich history of the subject.
• Comprehensive text on the mathematics of index numbers by one of the world's leading authorities on the subject • The book will be appealing to academics as it is not limited by behavioural assumptions • Offers numerous new analytical and historical details
1. Price indices through history; 2. The quest for international comparisons; 3. Axioms, tests, and indices; 4. Decompositions and subperiods; 5. Price indices for elementary aggregates; 6. Divisia and Montgomery indices; 7. International comparisons: transitivity and additivity.
'While not addressing economic aggregation theory or economic index number theory, this book contains the most comprehensive treatment of the statistical, axiomatic approach to index number theory since Irving Fisher's famous book appeared in 1922. The role of that approach is especially relevant, when the applicability of microeconomic theory and thereby the existence of aggregator functions are compromised by aggregation of data over economic agents.' William A. Barnett, University of Kansas
'Bert Balk is probably the world's leading authority on the theory and practice of index numbers. The present book brings together his latest thoughts on this important area of research. Both newcomers and old hands will benefit from reading this book.' Erwin Diewert, University of British Columbia
'Making sense of movements in money measures of economic activity necessarily involves distinguishing price and quantity movements. Professor Balk's book, reflecting his many contributions to index number theory and practice, provides an insightful and scholarly discussion of how price and quantity movements can be measured. The book provides an excellent review of various index number formulas and the quality of the attending measures. All of this takes place within the context of such topical issues as how to make international comparisons, handle seasonality, decompose component contributions from aggregate movements, and construct elementary aggregates. Economists and others interested in economic measurement will find this book a valuable resource.' Dennis Fixler, The George Washington University