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Irving Fisher and Index Number Theory

  • Economics
  • Mathematics


There are four main approaches to bilateral index number theory: the fixed basket, stochastic, test and economic approaches. The paper reviews the contributions of Irving Fisher to these approaches to index number theory which are still in use today. The paper also reviews Fisher’s contributions to multilateral index number theory. The main themes of the paper are developed in the context of a review of the early history of index number theory: a history that conveys a wealth of information and insight into the making and use of index numbers today.

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