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The Geary–Khamis dollar, more commonly known as the international dollar, is a hypothetical unit of currency that has the same purchasing power parity that the U.S. dollar had in the United States at a given point in time. It is widely used in economics. The years 1990 or 2000 are often used as a benchmark year for comparisons that run through time. The unit is often abbreviated e.g. 2000 US dollar (if the benchmark year is 2000) or 2000 Int$.
It is based on the twin concepts of purchasing power parities (PPP) of currencies and the international average prices of commodities. It shows how much a local currency unit is worth within the country's borders. It is used to make comparisons both between countries and over time. For example, comparing per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of various countries in international dollars, rather than based simply on exchange rates, provides a more valid measure to compare standards of living. It was proposed by Roy C. Geary in 1958 and developed by Salem Hanna Khamis between 1970 and 1972.
Figures expressed in international dollars cannot be converted to another country's currency using current market exchange rates; instead they must be converted using the country's PPP exchange rate used in the study.
- Handbook of the International Comparison Programme. Annex II – Methods of Aggregation. Statistical definition at the UN United Nations Statistics Division. 2007
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