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Really, what are indexes in Economics? And bilateral and multilateral indexes?

Take the Malmquist Index: it is a bilateral index, even though it uses four numbers: $Q_1$, $Q_2$, $Q_3$ and $Q_4$?

And superlative index numbers?!

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    $\begingroup$ Indices (the correct plural) aggregate high dimensional data to a single number. So they are basically functions from high dimensional spaces to one dimension. $\endgroup$ Feb 11 '21 at 8:49
  • $\begingroup$ Actually: grammarist.com/usage/indexes-indices. But why is the Malmquist Index a bilateral index if it maps a four-dim space to a 1-dim one? $\endgroup$
    – plant
    Feb 11 '21 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ It is bilateral because the number refers to something happening between two countries. $\endgroup$ Feb 11 '21 at 12:21
  • $\begingroup$ So the bilateral relates to the numerator and denominator then? $\endgroup$
    – plant
    Feb 11 '21 at 12:25
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    $\begingroup$ It is an index for a bilateral relationship. In general, that need not be related to any fraction. $\endgroup$ Feb 11 '21 at 12:30

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