NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Bettina Aten

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Working Papers

June 2014Trying to Understand the PPPs in ICP2011: Why are the Results so Different?
with Angus Deaton: w20244
Purchasing power parity exchange rates, or PPPs, are price indexes that summarize prices in each country relative to a numeraire country, typically the United States. These numbers are used to compare living standards across countries, by academics in studies of economic growth, particularly through the Penn World Table, and in some cases, to allocate resources. The International Comparison Program (ICP) collects the detailed prices on which these indexes are based on an irregular basis. In 2014, the ICP published PPPs from the 2011 round that are sharply different from those that were expected from extrapolation of the previous round, ICP 2005. These discrepancies will eventually have important implications for the Penn World Table, and for international comparisons of living standards. T...

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