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The International Comparisons Program (ICP) is a global statistical initiative established to produce internationally comparable price levels, expenditure values, and Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) estimates.

The goal is to provide a reliable and relevant information base, with the ultimate objective of informing policies that affect economic and social development as well as supporting poverty measurement and monitoring efforts.

All the major international development agencies, including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) use PPP data. Purchasing Power Parity takes into account the cost of a common basket of goods in the countries being compared) to analyze economic and social conditions within their areas of concern. The ICP offers them a powerful tool for comparative research on economic and social development.

International comparison project prior to 1989 and International comparison programme since 1989.

It started as a research project in the 1960s with the ultimate goal of establishing a regular programme of worldwide PPP comparisons of GDP.

Comparisons were organised for 1970, 1973, 1975, 1980, 1985 and 1993. They covered 10, 16, 34, 60, 64 and 83 countries respectively. Responsibility for these comparisons was shared by the United Nations Statistics Division and the University of Pennsylvania. The World Bank is the current global co-ordinator of the ICP.

Eurostat, OECD, 2007, Eurostat-OECD Methodological Manual on Purchasing Power Parities, OECD, Paris – Annex VII, Glossary of terms and abbreviations.

Source Publication:
World Bank, 2005, World Bank International Comparison Program website, World Bank, Washington DC.

Cross References:
European Comparison Programme


Statistical Theme: Prices and purchasing power partities

Created on Friday, March 25, 2005

Last updated on Thursday, July 26, 2007