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AFTERSHOCKS FROM A REVOLUTION: ORDINAL UTILITY AND COST-OF-LIVING INDEXES

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 May 2011

Abstract

This essay argues that beneath the superficial linearity of the history of neoclassical price index theory lie important conceptual ruptures that are linked to the ordinal revolution, including a radical transformation in the core objective for cost-of-living indexes. Revealing these ruptures produces a more accurate history of both the development of neoclassical price index theory and its reception. Furthermore, we can recognize how transformations in this theory have made cost-of-living indexes more coherent with existing traditions of empirical macroeconomics even as they may have reduced the indexes’ suitability for other functions, notably adjusting income payments.

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Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The History of Economics Society 2011

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AFTERSHOCKS FROM A REVOLUTION: ORDINAL UTILITY AND COST-OF-LIVING INDEXES
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