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Economists and policy makers are increasingly interested in analysing living standards across countries and changes in their relative rankings over time. The different social and institutional arrangements that exist in countries around the world create difficulties for such international comparisons. Comparisons of economic data are further complicated because economic variables are expressed in different currencies. One method of comparing economic data from a national currency to a common currency such as the $US is to convert them using exchange rates. However, this simplistic approach is not appropriate for comparisons of standards of living and other similar comparisons and can lead to quite misleading conclusions. For comparisons of this nature a more robust and appropriate method is to use Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs), which directly reflect differences in the prices of goods and services in different countries.