'An authoritative survey with exciting new insights of special interest to economists and econometricians who analyse intertemporal and interspatial price relationships.' - Professor Angus Maddison, Groningen University This book presents a comprehensive review of recent developments in the theory and construction of index numbers using the stochastic approach, demonstrating the versatility of this approach in handling various index number problems within a single conceptual framework. It also contains a brief, but complete, review of the existing approaches to index numbers with illustrative numerical examples. The stochastic approach considers the index number problem as a signal extraction problem. The strength and reliability of the signal extracted from price and quantity changes for different commodities depends upon the messages received and the information content of the messages.
The most important applications of the new approach are to be found in the context of measuring rate of inflation; fixed and chain base index numbers for temporal comparisons and for spatial intercountry comparisons; the latter generally require special index number formulae that result in transitive and base invariant comparisons.