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The Making of Index Numbers: A Study of Their Varieties, Tests, and Reliability (Classic Reprint)
THE MAKING OF INDEX NUMBERS CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 1. Objects of the Book For those who have'made any attempt to penetrate their mysteries, index numbers seem to have a perennial fascination. Because of recent upheavals of prices, the interest in this method of measuring such upheavals is rapidly spreading. During the last generation index numbers have...
THE MAKING OF INDEX NUMBERS CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 1. Objects of the Book For those who have'made any attempt to penetrate their mysteries, index numbers seem to have a perennial fascination. Because of recent upheavals of prices, the interest in this method of measuring such upheavals is rapidly spreading. During the last generation index numbers have gradually come into general use among economists, statisticians, and business men. The skepticism with which they were once regarded has steadily diminished. In 1896, in the Economic Journal, the Dutch economist, N. G. Pierson, after pointing out some apparently absurd results of index numbers, said: "The only possible conclusion seems to be that all attempts to calculate and represent average movements of prices, either by index numbers or otherwise, ought to be abandoned." No economist would today express such an extreme view. And yet there lingers a doubt as to the accuracy and reliability of index numbers as a means of measurTable of Contents TABLE OF CONTENTS; chapter PAGE; V Introduction 1; 1$ Six Types op Index Numbers Compared / 11; III) Four Methods of Weighting 1 43; IV) Two Great Reversal Tests 62; V Erratic, Biased, and Freakish Index Numbers; VI The Two Reversal Tests as Finders op Formulae 118; VII Rectifying Formulae by "Crossing" them 136 VIII Rectifying Formulae by Crossing their Weights 184; FX The Enlarged Series of Formula197; X What Simple Index Number is best?206; JXI What is the best Index Number? / 213; XII Comparing all the Index Numbers with the "Ideal/"; (Formula 353) 243; XIII The So-called Circular Test270; XIV Blending the Apparently Inconsistent Results 297; XV Speed of Calculation321; XVI Other Practical Considerations330; XVII Summary and Outlook350; Appendix I Notes to Text 371; Appendix II The Influence of Weighting ; 439; Appendix III An Index Number an Average of Ratios; Rather than a Ratio of Averages 451; xxii; TABLE OF
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