Purchasing Power Parities and the International Comparison Program in a Globalized World

Publication | March 2004

This brief provides an exposition of the importance of purchasing power parity (PPPs) and their role in analysis and comparison of economic data. It also emphasizes the significance of PPPs for developing countries.


  • Introduction
  • What is Purchasing Power Parity?
  • Why are PPPs Important?
  • Meeting the Need for Internationally Comparable Economic Data
  • Price Levels
  • Analysis of Size and Structure of Economies
  • Composition of GDP
  • Global and Regional Inequality
  • PPPs for Global and Regional Poverty Measurement
  • Intracountry Regional Comparisons
  • Challenges for the 2004-2006 ICP Round in Asia
  • Selected References