Measuring Prices and Quantities Masterclass


W. Erwin Diewert

Date & Time

17 March 2020




Postponed until a date to be announced.


HE Delegates: £25
Charity or Government: £50
Other Delegates: £50

Please note this masterclass has been postponed until a date to be announced.

If you have questions or require further information about this or other upcoming CeMMAP events, please contact for further information.

The masterclass on 17th March (Registration at 9.30 for 10am start and finishing at 4.15) will be taken by Prof. Erwin Diewert. It requires a basic understanding of partial derivatives and constrained optimisation of functions of more than one variable, as well as an understanding of basic matrix algebra.

The topics to be covered in the class are:

1. Basic index number theory: basket approaches and stochastic approaches

2. Axiomatic or test approaches to index number theory

3. The economic approach to index number theory

4. Multilateral index number theory and the chain drift problem

5. Quality adjustment: hedonic regression method

Erwin Diewert gained his PhD at Berkeley in 1969 where he was advised by Dan McFadden. He has been a Professor of Economics at the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Colombia, where he was also an undergraduate and post-graduate student, since 1970. He also holds a part-time appointment at the University of New South Wales.

His areas of interest are price measurement, the measurement of productivity and index number theory and more generally, welfare economics and applied general equilibrium modelling. His early work on index numbers was brought together in a volume of collected papers Essays in Index Number Theory. It includes “Exact and Superlative Index Numbers”, one of his best-known papers published in the Journal of Econometrics in 1976. He also introduced (with Caves and Christensen) the Malmquist productivity index and he developed and promoted the concept of the user cost of capital. Later work has focused on the problems of making price and quantity comparisons across countries and on some of the problems to be addressed in measuring capital inputs. Recent publications include work on industry productivity and cross-country convergence in the Journal of Eonometrics (2016) and an overview of innovations in measurement in economics and econometrics, also in the Journal of Econometrics (2016).

His work has found many applications in official statistics. He encouraged the adoption of chained index numbers in the national accounts, a practice which is now widespread. He is a Member of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Econometric Society and Chairman of the Statistics Canada Advisory Committee on Prices.