The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Dimensions of Economic Quantities

  • P. H. Wicksteed
Reference work entry


A unit is a concrete magnitude selected as a standard by reference to which other magnitudes of the same kind may be compared. A derived unit is a unit determined with reference to some other unit. Thus the unit of area may be derived from the unit of length by being defined as the area of the square, erected on the unit of length. The unit of speed may be derived from the unit of length and the unit of time, by being defined as that speed at which the unit of length is traversed in the unit of time. In relation to the derived units of area and speed, the units of length and time would then be fundamental— ‘fundamental’ being a term correlative to ‘derived’.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. H. Wicksteed
    • 1
  1. 1.