Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 May 2011
This essay argues that beneath the superficial linearity of the history of neoclassical price index theory lie important conceptual ruptures that are linked to the ordinal revolution, including a radical transformation in the core objective for cost-of-living indexes. Revealing these ruptures produces a more accurate history of both the development of neoclassical price index theory and its reception. Furthermore, we can recognize how transformations in this theory have made cost-of-living indexes more coherent with existing traditions of empirical macroeconomics even as they may have reduced the indexes’ suitability for other functions, notably adjusting income payments.
Papers of Katherine P. Ellickson, Walter Reuther Library, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.
Records of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Record Group 257, U.S. National Archives II, College Park, MD.
Records of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Record Group 51, U.S. National Archives II, College Park, MD.