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This free course, Prices, looks at a wide variety of ways of comparing prices and the construction of a price index. You will also look at the Retail Price Index (RPI) and the Consumer Price Index (CPI), indices used by the UK Government to calculate the percentage by which prices in general have risen over any given period. You will also look at the important statistical and mathematical ideas that contribute to the construction of a price index.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- calculate the mean, weighted mean and the median of a batch of numbers
- calculate a percentage and a percentage price increase
- use a weighted mean to find an average percentage price increase (given the weights)
- use the statistical facilities of your calculator to find the mean, the median and (given the weights) the weighted mean of a batch of numbers
- produce simple sequences of numbers.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1. Politicians and journalists
- 1.1: Introduction
- 1.2: Are we getting better off?
- 1.3: A statistical interlude—averages
- 1.4: Price ratios and price indices
- 1.5: The UK Government price indices
- 1.6: Using the price indices
- 1.7: Some mathematical themes
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
This course looks at a wide variety of ways of comparing prices and the construction of a price index. You will look at the Retail Price Index (RPI) and the Consumer Price Index (CPI), indices used by the UK Government to calculate the percentage by which prices in general have risen over any given period. You will also look at the important statistical and mathematical ideas that contribute to the construction of a price index.
In order to complete this course you will need to have obtained a Texas Instruments TI-83 calculator and the book Tapping into Mathematics With the TI-83 Graphics Calculator by Barrie Galpin and Alan Graham (eds), Addison Wesley, 1997 (ISBN 0201175479). This is referred to throughout the course as the Calculator Book.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 1 study in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Mathematics Education courses or view the range of currently available OU Mathematics Education courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Monday, 25th April 2016
Last updated on: Monday, 25th April 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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