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April 30, 2022


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The course, Prices, location and spread, explores aspects of the question Are people getting better or worse off? It covers statistical measures characterising the location of a batch of data (the median and the mean), and looks further at weighted means and at the interquartile range as a measure of spread (variability).

Boxplots and stemplots are used to picture the data. All this is done in the context of measuring prices, and the course also covers the concept of a price index, and the index numbers (Retail Prices Index and Consumer Prices Index) used to measure price levels and inflation in the UK.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • Find the mean and median of a batch of data
  • Find the weighted mean of two or more numbers
  • Find the lower and upper quartiles, interquartile range and five-figure summary of a batch of data
  • Calculate a simple chained price index
  • Use the Retail Prices Index and the Consumer Prices Index to measure price changes.

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction 00:15:00
  • Learning outcomes 00:07:00
    • Measuring location 00:07:00
    • Data on prices 00:15:00
    • The median 01:00:00
    • The arithmetic mean 00:20:00
    • The mean and median compared 00:40:00
    • Exercises on Section 1 00:25:00
    • Weighted means 00:05:00
    • The mean of a combined batch 00:45:00
    • Further uses of weighted means 01:15:00
    • More than two numbers 01:15:00
    • Exercises on Section 2 00:20:00
    • Measuring spread 00:10:00
    • The range 00:10:00
    • Quartiles and the interquartile range 01:15:00
    • A measure of spread 00:20:00
    • The five-figure summary and boxplots 00:50:00
    • Exercises on Section 3 00:40:00
    • A simple chained price index 00:15:00
    • A two-commodity price index 01:30:00
    • Exercise on Section 4 00:15:00
    • The UK government price indices 00:10:00
    • What are the CPI and RPI? 01:30:00
    • Calculating the price indices 01:30:00
    • Using the price indices 01:00:00
    • Exercises on Section 5 00:30:00
    • Conclusion 00:15:00

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