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  • Book
  • © 2017

Inflation

History and Measurement

Palgrave Macmillan
  • Helps to understand how inflation is created and measured in the UK

  • Explains why inflation is important and how the current measurement system has developed

  • Charts the history of inflation back to 1904

  • Written in an accessible style

  • Includes supplementary material: sn.pub/extras

Buying options

eBook USD 119.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-64125-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

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Table of contents (15 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Introduction

    • Robert O’Neill, Jeff Ralph, Paul A. Smith
    Pages 1-20
  3. What Is Inflation?

    • Robert O’Neill, Jeff Ralph, Paul A. Smith
    Pages 21-43
  4. The Origins of Inflation Measurement: 1700–1879

    • Robert O’Neill, Jeff Ralph, Paul A. Smith
    Pages 45-67
  5. What Is a Price Index?

    • Robert O’Neill, Jeff Ralph, Paul A. Smith
    Pages 69-90
  6. The Development of the Cost of Living Index: 1880 to 1946

    • Robert O’Neill, Jeff Ralph, Paul A. Smith
    Pages 91-130
  7. The Development of the Retail Prices Index: 1947–1989

    • Robert O’Neill, Jeff Ralph, Paul A. Smith
    Pages 131-158
  8. What’s in the Basket?

    • Robert O’Neill, Jeff Ralph, Paul A. Smith
    Pages 159-171
  9. Collecting Prices

    • Robert O’Neill, Jeff Ralph, Paul A. Smith
    Pages 173-194
  10. Estimating Household Expenditure Shares

    • Robert O’Neill, Jeff Ralph, Paul A. Smith
    Pages 195-219
  11. From the RPI to the CPI: 1990–2011

    • Robert O’Neill, Jeff Ralph, Paul A. Smith
    Pages 221-241
  12. Measuring Inflation at a Detailed Level

    • Robert O’Neill, Jeff Ralph, Paul A. Smith
    Pages 243-263
  13. What Should We Be Measuring?

    • Robert O’Neill, Jeff Ralph, Paul A. Smith
    Pages 265-286
  14. Recent Developments: 2012–2016

    • Robert O’Neill, Jeff Ralph, Paul A. Smith
    Pages 287-332
  15. Other Price Indices

    • Robert O’Neill, Jeff Ralph, Paul A. Smith
    Pages 333-354
  16. A Look to the Future

    • Robert O’Neill, Jeff Ralph, Paul A. Smith
    Pages 355-369
  17. Back Matter

    Pages 371-375

About this book

This book is a non-technical introduction to the history of – and current measurement practice of – inflation for the United Kingdom, with comparative international case studies. The authors describe the historical development of inflation measures in a global context, and do so without using formal mathematical language and related jargon that relates only to a few specialist scholars. Although inflation is a widely used and quoted statistic, and despite the important role inflation plays in real people’s lives – through pension uprating, train tickets, interest rates and the work of economists – few people understand how it is created. O’Neill, Ralph and Smith mix historical data with a description of practices inside the UK statistical system and abroad, which will aid understanding of how this important economic statistic is produced, and the important and controversial choices that statisticians have made over time.

Keywords

  • Economic statistics
  • Measurement practice
  • Historical development of inflation
  • Pension uprating
  • Interest rates
  • Economic history of inflation
  • Price index
  • Retail prices index
  • Inflation
  • Consumer goods
  • The Office for National Statistics
  • The general level of prices
  • Consumer Prices Index
  • European Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices
  • Institute of Fiscal Studies
  • “cost of goods” framework
  • "cost of living” framework

Reviews

“This book is a very well-researched history of the development of measures of inflation in the UK over the past three hundred years. It is also a source of technical information for anybody wanting to delve into the detail of how consumer price indices are compiled.” (John Astin, Significance Magazine, Vol. 15 (05), October, 2018)

Authors and Affiliations

  • The Business School, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, United Kingdom

    Robert O'Neill

  • Office for National Statistics, Newport, South Wales, United Kingdom

    Jeff Ralph

  • S3RI and Department of Social Statistics and Demography, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom

    Paul A. Smith

About the authors

Robert O’Neill is Lecturer at the University of Huddersfield, UK, where he has been since 2013. Previously he worked at the Office for National Statistics working primarily in the area of index numbers methodology. His current role includes both research and teaching related to quantitative economics, which includes teaching students at various levels.

Jeff Ralph has worked for the Office for National Statistics, UK, for 13 years. Much of that time has been spent working on price statistics and the measurement of inflation; this has included research and teaching. Jeff has been joint author on a number of research papers and lead author on a recent student textbook on index numbers.

Paul A. Smith is Associate Professor in Official Statistics, University of Southampton, UK. He worked for 25 years in the Office for National Statistics, UK, where he gained extensive experience in the theory and practice of sample surveys applied to businesses, households and the population census. He undertakes consultancy and research in topics related to official statistics, and coordinates the MSc in Official Statistics.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 119.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-64125-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)