International and Interarea Comparisons of Income, Output, and Prices
edited by Alan Heston and Robert E. Lipsey
University of Chicago Press, 1999
Cloth: 978-0-226-33110-2 | Electronic: 978-0-226-33112-6
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226331126.001.0001


Economists wish to compare prices, real income, and output across countries and regions for many purposes. In the past, such comparisons were made in nominal terms, or by using exchange rates across countries, ignoring differences in price levels and thus distorting the results. Great progress has been made in interspatial comparisons in the past thirty years, but descriptions and discussions of the new measures have been scattered in unpublished or inaccessible papers.

International and Interarea Comparisons of Income, Output, and Prices includes discussions of developments in the United Nations International Comparison Program, the largest effort in this field, and in the ICOP program on the production side, including efforts in both to extend the comparisons to the formerly planned economies. Other papers in this volume explore new programs on interspatial comparisons within the United States. There are also theoretical papers on how interspatial comparisons should be made and several examples of uses of such comparisons.


International and Interarea Comparisons of Income, Output, and Prices

Prefatory Note

I. Theoretical Bases of Multilateral Interspatial Comparisons

1. Axiomatic and Economic Approaches to International Comparisons

2. International Comparisons Using Spanning Trees

II. Interarea Price and Wage Comparisons

3. Interarea Price Comparisons for Heterogeneous Goods and Several Levels of Commodity Aggregation

4. Constructing Interarea Compensation Cost Indexes with Data from Multiple Surveys

5. Cities in Brazil: An Interarea Price Comparison

III. Informal Reports on Methods and the Geographic Expansion of the International Comparison Program

6. Purchasing Power Parities for Medical Care and Health Expenses

7. Comparisons for Countries of Central and Eastern Europe

8. Multilateral Comparison of the Baltic Countries, 1993

9. Report on the Romania–Republic of Moldova Bilateral Comparison, Benchmark Year 1993

10. A Critique of CIA Estimates of Soviet Performance from the Gerschenkron Perspective

IV. Reports from the International Comparisons of Output and Productivity Program

11. The Measurement of Performance in Distribution, Transport, and Communications: The ICOP Approach Applied to Brazil, Mexico, France, and the United States

12. Prices, Quantities, and Productivity in Industry: A Study of Transition Economies in a Comparative Perspective

V. Applications of International Comparison Data

13. The Effects of Price Regulation on Productivity in Pharmaceuticals

14. Specialization and Productivity Performance in Low-, Medium-, and High-Tech Manufacturing Industries

15. Wage Dispersion and Country Price Levels

16. The World Distribution of Well-being Dissected



Author Index

Subject Index