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Yenching index numbers

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Title:
Yenching index numbers
Creator:
Yenching University. Department of Economics
Place of Publication:
Beijing
北京市
Publisher:
Yenching University. Department of Economics
燕京大學. 經濟系
燕京大学. 经济系
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Copyright Date:
1940
Language:
English

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Index numbers (Economics) ( lcsh )
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serial ( sobekcm )
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Asia -- China -- Beijing -- Beijing
亚洲 -- 中国 -- 北京 -- 北京
亞洲 -- 中國 -- 北京 -- 北京
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39.916667 x 116.383333

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1940 v1(1-3) only
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In the public domain under the copyright laws of China

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SOAS, University of London
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SOAS, University of London
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This item is licensed with the Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial License. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this work non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms.
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290038781 ( OCLC )
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Published monthly by the Department of Econon
Yenching University, Peking, China.

ONTHLY INDEX NUMBERS OF THE COST OF LIVIF

1936= 100

Total cost of living

........Food n

Clothing
Housing

------Fuel & light

-..... Miscellaneous


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Since July, 1937the many index numbers formerly computed for North China have
been suspended. The Department of Economics of Yenching University plans to continue
some of this earlier work. After several months of preparation, beginning in July, 1939,
the Department is now ready to present its findings in this monthly, The Yenching Index
Numbers.

It is the hope of the Department thus to render a service to those of the general
public who are inierested in economic conditions in this region. Although the present plan
is to circulate this publication free of charge to a limited number of readers, the high cost
of printing and the postage make the project partially dependent on outside assistance.
Any contributions sent to the Department for the purpose of helping with this work will
be greatly appreciated.

I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of those who are
responsible for this undertaking: Mr. Teh-hsin Li for overseeing the collection and the com-
pilation of data, Mr. Chao-pin Wang for the computation, and Mr. Lin-cbuang Cheng for
supervising the entire project.

GIDEON CHEN,
Chairman.

Depattment of Economics,

Yenching University,

Peking.

Notes on the Making of the Cost-of-living Index Numbers for
the Working Classes in Peking

The study in the Cost of living in Peking has been undertaken by several individuals.!
They have made inquiries into the family or the individual expenditure of the working classes
in Peking in order to find the way in which they are living and how changes in the cost of
living have affected them. These studies, however, all ended with the discovery and analysis
of the existing facts and none has attempted to supply continuous information about the
fluctuation of such costs and their effect on the livelihood of the people. An exception,
however, was the work of the Institute of Social Sciences .1 2 3 From January,
1929, to July, 1937, the date of the outbreak of the hostilities between Japan and China,
it published monthly the index numbers of the cost of living for the working classes in
Peking, the numbers being calculated back to 1926.3 The suspension of this valuable work
is a loss not only to the students of social sciences but also to all who are interested in such
problems. Realizing this, the Department of Economics of Yenching University undertook
to continue the compilation of such figures.

Since the present index is a continuation of that of the Institute of Social Sciences,
there is in general no change as to either the scope or methods of construction. The chief
differences are a shift in the base year from 1927 to 1936 and an addition of 15 vegetable
stands to the 42 shops already used as sources of price data.

1 For details, see Simon Yang and L. K. Tao J Study of the Standard
of Living of Working Families in Shanghai, Peiping, 1931, Appendix.

2 It was formerly called the Institute of Social Research .

3 Monthly Index Numbers of the Cost of Lining in Peiping, Peiping, vol, I, no. 1 vol.
IX, no. 6, Jan., 1929~~June, 1937.


The scope and methods of making this index have been explained in great detail
by Mr. Simon Yang of the Institute in bis booklet, An Index of the Cost of Living in Peiping^
In view of the removal of the Institute from Peking to Nanking and from Nanking to the
interior of the country in 1937 and since that booklet may be out of print, a brief summary of
its content, together with modifications made in the present index, is deemed necessary here.

Assortment of Commodities and Weights The following commodities and weights are used
in the making of the index:

Weights

Articles (in quantity consumed

annually by a family of
3.38 equivalent adults ) *

Food Cereals: Wheat flour, hand milled Corn flour 391 482 shih 99 catties 99
"Millet flour 370
Rice 67
Millet 80
Buckwheat flour 71 99
Vegetables:
Turnips, salted for whole year) 21
"Ketesalted ) 11 99
Onions 13
Bean sprouts ) 16
Cabbage, large for winter and spring) 142
Potatoes ) 50
Spinach ) 18
Cabbage, small /)(for summer and autumn) 76
Allium adorum 47 99
Egg-plants 48
Cucumber 61
Oil and condiments:
Sesamum oil 11 9 9
Salt g 26
Soy paste 16
Meat:
Mutton 7
Pork 3
Beef 3 99
Fuel and light
Coal balls 1,862
Petroleum 26 99 9 9
Fire wood 37 99 9 9
Charcoal 46
Clothing materials
Shifting, light blue 13 shih chih
Shirting, black 7 9^

4 Published by the Social Research Department of the China Foundation in
December, 1928, in Peiping.




Drill, grey 20 shih ch*ih
Drill, blue 27 99
Drill, white 25
Patriotic cloth 21
Cotton, raw 5 shih catties
Housing
Rent 1 chien
Miscellaneous Items
T 2.0 shih catties
Washing soda 1.4
Soap 4.4 pieces

Since the outbreak of hostilities, Peking has been faced with a shortage of supplies.
We have, therefore, occasionally been compelled to use substitutes for several articles,
especially those in the category of clothing materials. Due care has been given to the
selection of these substitutes, and they have been abandoned whenever the original articles
became available.

Price data Data on retail prices of the above mentioned commodities are collected
by our field investigators on the second and the sixteenth of each month from 42 shops
and 15 vegetable stands in nine sections of Peking. The shops deal in grain, vegetables,
oil and condiments, beef and mutton, pork, cloth, coal and groceries, and are distributed
as follows:

Hsi Tan Pailou 6

Fu Cheng Men 2

An Ting Men H 2

Ch'ao Yang Men R 6

Chien Men 3

Kuang An Men 6

Teh Sheng Men j3? 6

Tung Sse Failou 9 It 3

Hsuan Wu Men 2

Ch ung Wen Men PI 6

The vegetable stands are distributed in the following areas:

Hsuan Wu Men 1

Nai Tze Fu 1

Hsi Tan Pailou 1

Hou Men 3

Hsi Chih Men 4

Tung Tan Pailou 1

Tung Sse Pailou 1

Kuang An Men 2

Huang Hua Men Pl 1

Formula The formula used is the aggregative, weighted by quantities of annual
consumption of a family of 3.38 equivalent adults obtained through the family budget
study made by the Institute during the period from November, 1926, to April, 1927.5 It
is formula 53, enumerated in Fishers The Making of Index Numbers. In computing the
index, no group weights are assigned to the five categories of articles as listed above
because the assortments of the commodities are made according to their relative
importance.

Base period The average prices of 1927 were used by the Institute £ts the basis for
the index calculation. The present index, however, adopts 1936 as the base year. The
reasons for such a change are: First, the old base year is so remote in time that it renders
impressions vague and indefinite. Secondly, 1936 was a comparatively normal year as
viewed from the economic, social and political angles. The average indices of 1936 as
shown by the Institutes index are as follows food, 99.5; clothing, 97.1; housing, 108.2;
fuel and light, 98.6; miscellaneous, 113.2; and the total cost of living, 100.2,
Thirdly, this year was also the last complete calendar year immediately preceding the

5 For details, see L. K. Tao, Livelihood in Peking, Peking, 1928.


5

present hostilities; hence the adoption of 1936 as a base provides a better basis for
comparison of the cost of living during and after the conflict with that before it.
Furthermore, the use of the aggregative formula enables us to shift the base by the short
method, i.e., by dividing the indices by the index of the new base and multiplying each
result by 100and does not involve error.

The present work was started in July of 1939, two years after the month in which
the Institute of Social Sciences suspended its work. Because of the political and economic
uncertainty which prevailed during this interval, the work of collecting price data for the
back months were extremely difficult. Investigators, consisting of both the regular staff
members and the students of the Department, were sent to the field to make contacts with
the retailers in the city. The work would have to have been given up bad not these
dealers so kindly placed at our disposal their old accounts from which price quotations of
the past months were taken. Accounts from at least four retailers, and in many cases as
many as ten, were obtained for these months. Records kept by the students dining halls
and by the Practice House of the Home Economics Department at Yencbing were used as
a check on accuracy. With these facilities, the Department has been able to calculate the
numbers back to July, 1937. For the period after July, 1939, the work has proceeded
smoothly according to the process described above.

Index numbers for the years from 1926 to 1939 and those for the months from
January of 1937 to December of 1939 are at present available and are given in the following
table. The figures for the period before July, 1937, have been converted from the indices
published by the Institute of Social Sciences. These figures together with those for the
later months are self explanatory.6 The rising trends of the costs, the greatest characteristic
of their movement during the last three years, are more clearly indicated in the chart on
the cover of the present issue of the publication.

Two points, however, require explanation here. In the first place indices on prices
in terms of coppers are not given in the present index numbers as they were in those of
the Institute. This is due to the fact that since the outbreak of hostilities prices have
soared so drastically that they are not measurable in terms of coppers as fractions of a
cent and copper prices are no longer quoted in the market. In the second place, the
application of price control measures ha\e long been proclaimed in this city but have been
strictly enforced only since last October. As a result, prices of many commodities have
been curtailed but these restrictions have greatly encouraged adulteration and produced
deterioration in the quality of the goods. The consuming populace has bad to sacrifice
quality for lower prices. These price control measures have thus introduced factors which
have complicated the index making. On the one hand, the official prices are the only
available quotations in the market. Should these prices be used for the calculation, no
account is taken for the change in quality. If, on the other hand, it is desired to make
allowance for this, prices equivalent to those of the original qualities of the articles have
to be calculated by mathematical interpolation. In view of this complication, two numbers
have been given for the costs of food and fuel and for the general index since October
of last year. The numbers in ordinary type are based on prices fixed by the municipal
government, while those given in parentheses for the corresponding commodities are
based on the calculated prices. Users of this index, therefore, have entire freedom in the
choice between the two widely differing sets of indices.

6 For an account of the costs of months before September, 1939see Lin-chuang
Cheng Commodity Prices in North China since 1937Yertchirtg Journal of Social
Studies, vol, II, no. 2, Jan., 1940.


6

Monthly Index Numbers of the Cost of Living in Peking
1936 = 100

(Based on silver dollar prices)

Date Food Clothing Housing I^uel & light Miscel- 1 laneous | Total cost of living
1926 104.2 95./ 92.4 99.6 85.2 101.8
1927 100.5 103.0 92.4 101.4 88.4 99.8
1928 102.0 108.4 84.4 101.8 92.6 101.4
1929 J 08 J 117.9 76.3 "5:9 98.3 106.3
1930 112.4 116.5 76.4 118.4 100.8 109.4
J931 93.0 117.8 775 U4.7 102.4 95.6
1932 85.8 116.8 88.4 108.6 101.4 9/.0
J 9.33 72.8 109.4 94.4 98.8 99.7 80.8
1934 70.3 102.6 101.5 99.9 99./ 79.3
1935 79.4 98.0 102.9 102.7 99.6 85.7
1936 100.0 JOO.O 100.0 100.0 /00.0 100.0
1937 1J6.1 124.5 S0.6 102.6 103.0 113.9
Jan. 119.5 103.4 82.8 103.9 100.3 113.7
Feb. 118.4 107.0 82-8 103.0 100-3 112.9
Mar. 117.2 107.2 85.7 98.7 100.3 111.4
Apr. 118.1 108.9 87.4 100.8 100.3 113.4
May 113.4 112.2 82.1 99.9 100.3 108.7
June 107.9 115.S 73.S _ _ 97.7 JCO-3 104-1
July 113.2 134.7 73.4 100.9 104.9 113.7
Aug. 117.6 138.3 73.4 98.6 104.2 117.3
Sept. 118.4 138.3 73.4 98.6 105.3 117.9
Oct. 120.1 142.5 73.4 108.0 105.6 120.6
Nov. 114.4 139.6 88.1 109.7 106.6 116.3
Dec. -115.3 145-5 90.3 111.3 107.2 117.7
1938 146.2 168.9 153.9 137.6 /5J.5 147.9
Jan. 128.3 160.5 95.5 114.3 120.6 129.9
Peb. 131.7 163-4 99.1 121.0 140.4 133.8
Mar. 159.5 166-7 110.2 120.9 149'. 1 155.9
Apr. 164.7 166.1 110.2 124.0 150.9 160.1
May 162.9 163.5 110.2 127.7 152.2 158.9
June 155-2 169.1 146.9 141-4 159.4 155.3
July 147.2 169.1 145.9 141.4 161.2 149.2
Aug. 148.6 169.1 183.6 149.8 152.9 151.3
Sept. 146.9 174.7 183.6 150.3 164.3 150.9
Oct. * 133.5 174.7 220.3 159.9 163.9 141.8
Nov. 138.4 174.7 220.3 1522 161.4 144.8
Dec. 136.8 174.7 220.3 148.6 165.3 143.3
1939 203.4 215.6) 208.5 253.7 /9/.9 (796.39 173.0 202.9 212.8)
Jan. 145.3 174.7 220.3 159.1 168.4 150.9
Beb. 162.2 174.8 220.3 159.1 171.2 164.5
Mar. 170.7 174.3 220.3 159.1 171.5 170.5
Apr. 175.0 199.3 220.3 159.1 w 169.3 176.4
May 187.0 198.9 234.9 165.2 172.7 186.4
June 179.9 213.6 249.7 169.2 165.2 182.9
July 186.9 213.0 238.0 174.3 170.4 188.8
Aug. 205.9 208.4 322.7 199.0 179.3 206.2
Sept. 291.3 235.5 327.2 244.2 177.7 279.6
Oct. 244.1 (306.1) 245.6 262.0 248.6 (256.9) 176.8 243.8 (292.6)
Nov. 247.8 (281.1) 236.6 265.9 229.0 (247.8) 176.5 243.8 (271.3)
Dec. 244.7 (295.8) 227.4 263.1 236.7 (263.1) 176.7 241.1 (282.9)


Full Text

PAGE 1

Vol. I January, 1940 No. 1 YENCHING INDEX NUMBERS Published monthly by the Department of Economics, Yenching University, Peking, China, MONTHLY INDEX NUMBERS OF THE COST OF LIVING IN PEKING 1936= 100 \f>Or---------r---------.----------. 1201-----1 .........-Total cost of living fi!!'Wilt I \ \001-------1 lROI------1 -Clothin g :1<.1111 I Housinglilm W>t------1 ____ -,._, .... .. .. 110 ./ ,--7 ... :-:c .. 1011 ___ ..I (1 r-=c ___ ..,.,.-'___ -:/f-----1----------1 -Fue l & light 11!11 110--7 11 \X _,., ........ Mi s cel l aneo u s fiJ({ If' f /-J WO J / :.JI Wll------i 1 0 1__._-L-.............._ I ... ON!>IIMAMJIAiiiiONt> I 9 ; 7 I 9 '> 8 I ') \ 9

PAGE 2

ACKNOWLEDGMENT Since July, 1937, the many index numbers formerly computed for North China have been suspended. The Department of Economics of Yenching University plans to continue some of this earlier work. After several months of preparation, beginning in July, 1939, the Department is now ready to present its findings in this monthly, The Yenching Index Numbers. It is the hope of the Department thus to render a service to those of the general public who are in1erested in economic conditions in this region. Althou!!h the present plan is to .circulate this publication free of charge to a limited number of readers, the high cost of printing and the postage make the project partially dependent on outside assi stance. Any contributions sent to the Dep:utment for the purpose of helping with this work will be gready appreciated. I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of those who are responsible for this undertaking: Mr. Teh-hsin Li for overseeing the collection and the corn pilation of data, Mr. Chao-pin Wang for the computation, and Mr. Lin-chuang Cheng for supervising the entire project. Department of Economics, Yenching University, Peking. GIDEON CHEN, Chairman. Notes on the Making of the Cost-of-living Index Numbers for the Working Classes in Peking The study in the cost of living in Peking has been undertaken b y several individuals. I They have made inquiries into the family or the individual expenditure of the working clas ses in Peking in orde r to find the way in which they are living and how changes in the cost of living have affected them. These studies, however, all ended with the discovery and analysis of the existing facts and none has attempted to supply continuous information about the fluctuation of such costs and their effect on the livelihood of the people. An exception, however, was the work of the Institute of Social Sciences From January, 1929, to July, 1937, the date of the outbreak of the hostilities between Japan and China, it published monthly the index numbers of the cost of for the working classes in Peking, the numbers being calculated back to 1926.3 The suspension of this valuable work is a loss not only to the students of social sciences but a lso to all who are intereste d in such problems. Realizing this, the Department of Economics of Yenching University undertook to continue the compilation of such figures. Since the present index is a continuation of that of the Institute of Social Sci e nces, there is .in general no change as to either the scope or methods of construction. The chief differences are a shift in the base year from 1927 to 1936 and an addition of 15 vegetable stands to the 42 shops already u se d as sources of price data 1 For details, see Simon Yang ;j11;i!]t: and L. K. Tao A Study of the Standard of Lioing of Working Families In )hanghai, Peiping, 1931, Appendix. 2 It was formerly called the Institute of Social Research 3 Monthly Index Numbers o f the Cost of Lioing in Peipine, Peiping, vol. I, no. 1-vol. IX, no. 6, Jan., 1929-june, 1937.

PAGE 3

-3--The scope and methods of making this :index have been explained in great detail by Mr. Simon Yang of the. Institute in his booklet, An Index of the Cost of Living in Peipi71g.4 In view of the removal of the Institute from Peking to N anking and from Nanking to the interior of the country in 1937 and since that booklet may be out of print, a brief summary of its content, together with modifications made in the present index, i s deemed necessary here. Assortment of Commodities and Weights The following commodities and weights are u sed in the making of the index: Articles Food Cereals: Wheat flour, hand milled ............ ............. ... Corn flour .3i*t! ............... ...................... ................. .. "Millet flour" Jj'H ................................................. Rice E* ................................................................... .. Millet Jj'* .............. ; ............................. ................... .. Buckwheat flour .............................................. .. Vegetables: Turnips, salted fii!A1i!i (for whole year) "Kete", salted 71'<11Jiit ( ) ( Bean sprouts ( Cabbage, large (for winter and Potatoes E l'f ( Spinach ( spring ) ........... ) .......... .. ) ........... Cabbage, small (for summer and autumn) Alliwn adorum ( Egg-plants ;lli-T ( Cucumber :E.& ( Oil and condiments: Sesamum oil 'i!frlll .... ... ................. .............................. .. Salt If ............................................... ...... ................. .. Soy paste 11{fj Meat: Mutton ............................................................. .. Pork ................................................................. Beef 1ft':! .............. .. ................................................. Fuel and light Coal balls ........................................................... Petroleum :lllf: Fire wood .......................................................... .. Charcoal ......... ................................................... Clothing materials Shirring, light blue )J EiiH!i ............... ... .................... Shirring, black 'J'!fm.$ .................................................. Weights (in quantity consumed annually by a family of 3.38 equivalent adults ) 391 shih catties m .IT 482 370 67 80 71 21 11 13 16 1 4 2 50 18 76 47 4 8 61 11 26 16 7 3 3 1 ,862 26 37 4 6 13 shih ch'ih iffR 7 4 Published by the Social Research Department of the China Foundation in December, 1928, in Peiping.

PAGE 4

-4-britl, grey .................................................... .. 20 shih ch'ih Drill, blue ... .......................... .................. .. 27 Drill, white Ei;{\llf!F;(p .............. ................................... 25 "Patriotic" cloth Jltlfi!l;(p ................... .... ..................... 21 Cotton, raw tillE ......... .............................................. 5 shih catties Housing Rent .W,:m, .................................................................... 1 chien Misceiianeous Items Tea ......................................... .......................... .. 2.0 shih catties Washing soda jtj ........................ ... ..................... ......... 1.4 Soap mi!i!. .. .. ... .. .. .. ............. .. ... .. .. .. ... .. ... ... .. .. 4.4 pieces Since the outbreak of hostilities, Peking has been faced with a shortage of supplies. We have, therefore, occasionally been compelled to use substitutes for several articles, especially those in the category of clothing materials. Due care has been given to the s .election of these substitutes, and they have been abandoned whenever the original articles became available. Price data Data on retail prices of the above mentioned commodities are collected by our field investigators on the second and the sixteenth of each month from 42 shops and 15 vegetable in nine sections of Peking. The shops deal in grain, vegetables, oil and condiments, beef and mutton, pork, cloth, coal and groceries, and are distributed as follows: H s i Tan P' ailou i!j ;;. ;jl Fu Ch' eng Men -'" # P'l An Ting Men )i:: P'l Ch'ao Yang Men Wl1!.!1; P'l Ch'ien Men jj1j f'1 6 2 2 6 3 Kuang An Men JP( P'l Teh Sheng Men P'l Tung S se P' ailou Jli-mi-* ;Jl Hsuan Wu Men P'l Ch'ung Wen Men *:51:. f'l The vegetable stands are distributed in the following areas: Hsuan Wu Men lt jl;; f'1 1 Tung Tan P'ailou J![ .lfL Nai Tze Fu 1ff 1 Tung Sse P'ailou JR. 119 Rl\! tl H s i Tan P ailou i!i 1f!. R* t! 1 Kuang An Men !fff f'l Hou Men 1;t f'1 Hsi Chih Men i!Jii rti r'I 3 4 Huang Hua Men 1i. 1t f'l 6 6 3 2 6 1 1 2 1 Formula The formula used is the aggregative, weighted b y quantities of annual consumption of a family of 3.38 equivalent adults obtained through the family budget study made by the Institute during the period from November, 1926, to April, 1927.5 It is formula 53, enumerated in Fisher's The Making of Index Numb ers. In computing the index, no "group weights" are assigned to the five categories of articles as listed above because the assortments of the commodities are made according to their relative importance. Base period The average prices of 192 7 were used by the Institute the basis for the index calculation. The present index, however, adopts 1936 as the base year. The re11sons for such a change are: First, the old base year is so remote in time tha t i t renders impressions vague and indefinite. Secondly, 1 9 36 was a comparatively normal year as viewed from the economic, social and political angles. The average indices of 1936 as shown by the Institute' s index are as follows: food, 99.5; clothing, 97.1; housing, 108.2; fuel and light, 98.6; miscellaneous, 113.2; and the total cost of living, 100.2. Thirdly, this year was also the last complete calendar year immediately preceding the 5 For details, sec L. K. Tao, Livelihoo d in P ckirrg, Peking, 1928.

PAGE 5

-5present hostilities; l1ence tl1e adoption of 1936 as a provides a better basis for comparison of the cost of living during and after the confl ict with that before it. Furthermore, the use of the aggregative formula enables us to shift tl:e base by the short method. i.e., by dividing the indices by tl>e index of the new base and multiplying each result by 100, and does not involve error. The present work was started in July of 1939, two _years after the month in which the Institute of Social Sciences suspended its work. Because of the political and economic uncertainty which prevailed during this interval, the work of collecting price data for the back months were extremely difficult. lnvenigators, of both the regular staff members and the students of the Department, were sent to the field to make contacts with the retailers in the city. The work would have to have been given up had not these dealers so kindly placed at our disposal their old accounts from which price quotations of the past months were tJ.ken. Accounts from at least four retailers, and in many cases as many as ten, were obtained for these months. Records kept by the students' dining halls and by the Practice House of the Home Economics Department at Yenching were used as a ched on accuracy. With facilities, the Department l:as been able to calculate the numbers back to July, 1937. For the period after July, 1939, the work has proceeded smoothly according to the process described above. Index numbers for the years from 1926 to 1939 and for the months from January of 1937 to December of 1939 are at present available and are given in the following table. The figures for the period before July, 1937, have been converted from the indices published by the Institute of' Social Sciences. These figures together with those for the are self The rising trends of the costs, the greatest characteristic of their movement during the last three years, are more clearly indicated in the chart on the cover of the present issue of the publication. Two points, however, require explanation here. In the first place, indices on prices in terms of are not givtn in the present index numbers as they were in those of the Institute. This is due to the fact that since the outbreak of hostilities prices have soared so drastically that they are not in terms of coppers as fractions of a cent and copper prices are no longer quoted in the market. In the second place, the application of price control measures have long been proclaimed in this city but -have been strictly enforced only since last October. As a result. prices of many commodities have been curtailed but these restrictions have rreatly encouraged adulteration and produced deterioration in the quality of the goods. The consuming populace has had to sacrifice quality for lower prices. These price control measures have thus introduced factors which have complicated the index making. On the one hand, the official prices are the only available quotations in the market. Should these prices be used for the calculation, no accouf!t is taken for the change in quality. If, on the other hand, it is desire d to make allowance for this, prices equivalent to those of the original qualities of the articles have to be calculated by mathematical interpolation. In view of this complication, two numbers have been given for the costs of food and fuel and for the general index since October of last year. The numbers in ordinary type are based on prices fixed by the municipal government, while those given in parentheses for the cc;>rresponding commodities are based on the calculated prices. Users of this index, therefore, have-entire freedom in the choice between the two widely differing sets of indices. n For an account of the costs of months befor e September, 1939, see Lin-chuang Cheng "Co'llnodity Prices in North China since 1937", Yenching Journal of Social vol. 11, no. 2 Jan., 1940,

PAGE 6

-6-Monthly Index Numbers of the Cost of Living in Peking 1936=100 (Based on silver dollar prices) Date Food Clothing Housing IFuel & light\ Miscel'I'otal cost laneous of living 1926 104.2 98.1 92.4 99.6 I 85.2 101.8 1927 100.5 103.0 92.4 101.4 88.4 99.8 1928 /02.0 /08.4 84.4 10/.8 92.6 101.4 1929 /08.1 117.9 76.3 115:9 98.3 106.3 1930 112.4 116.5 76.4 118.4 /00.8 109.4 193/ 93.0 117.8 77.5 114.7 /02.4 95.6 1932 85.8 1/6.8 88.4 /08.6 /01.4 9!.0 19.33 72.8 109.4 94.4 98.8 99.7 80.8 1934 70.3 102.6 101.5 99.9 99.1 79.3 1935 79.4 98.0 102;9 102.7 99.6 85.7 1936 100.0 100.0 100.0 /00.0 100.0 100.0 !937 /24.5 80.6 102.6 103.0 l/3.9 Jan. 119.5 103-4 82. 8 103.9 100.3 113-7 Feb. ll8.4 107.0 82 103.0 100.3 112.9 Mar. 117.2 107.2 85-7 98.7 100.3 111.4 Apr. 118-1 108.9 87.4 100.8 100.3 113.4 :M:ay 113-4 112.2 82.1 99.9 100.3 108.7 .Tune 107.9 1.15. 8 73.8 97.7 J.Q().3 104 July 113 134.7 73.4 100.9 104.9 113.7 Aug. 117-6 138.3 73.4 98-6 104.2 117.3 Sept. 118.4 138.3 73.4 98-6 105.3 117.9 Oct. 120.1 142.5 73.4 108.0 105-6 120.6 Nov. 114.4 139.6 88.1 109.7 106.6 116.3 Dec. U5.3 145.5 90.3 111.3 107-2 117.7 !938 146.2 168.9 153.9 137.6 153.5 147.9 Jan. 128.3 160-5 95.5 ll4.3 120.6 129.9 Feb. 131-7 163-4 99.1 121.0 140.4 133.8 Mar. 159.5 166.7 110.2 120.9 149'.1 155.9 Apr. 164.7 166-1 110-2 12