Definitions
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike License
 n. A factor applied to economic statistics in order to counter the effect of inflation
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
 n. a statistical factor designed to remove the effect of inflation; inflation adjusted variables are in constant dollars.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
 n. a statistical factor designed to remove the effect of inflation; inflation adjusted variables are in constant dollars
Etymologies
Examples

If the deflator is higher, then longevity is less valuable. if the deflator is zero, then we have parity  a 20% increase in lifespan, GDP constant is the same as a 20% increase in GDP, lifespan constant.
Health Care Economics, Arnold Kling  EconLog  Library of Economics and Liberty

At the same time, inflation, as measured by a fixedwage GDP deflator, which is a standard way of measuring overall inflation, was only 2.7 percent.

A deflator is a unit that is used to equalize dollars over a given period of time.

The deflator is a complete work of fiction, so the actual GDP figure could be anything from 1% to +0.5%

Lest you think I've cherry picked an accidental onetime embarrassing statistical moment, here's a chart of the socalled GDP deflator, which is the specific measure of inflation that is subtracted from the nominal GDP to yield the reported real GDP.

(There's something called the implicit price deflator which is a calculation using the two, but we'll spare you the details.)

The GDP deflator, the broadest gauge of price trends, fell 1.9% from a year earlier after declining 1.6% in OctoberDecember.

Assuming a present value deflator of 2%, the difference of expected lifetime GDP received between a lifespan of 50 years and 70 years is roughly the same as the difference between a GDP of 5000 and 6000, at someone starting at a 5000 GDP and 50 years lifespan.
Health Care Economics, Arnold Kling  EconLog  Library of Economics and Liberty

Inflation: Inflation as measured by the growth of the GDP deflator (GDPD) is predicted to rise to 2.5 percent by the middle of 2004.
Credit Bush for Recovery?, Arnold Kling  EconLog  Library of Economics and Liberty

The statistical methods used to derive the deflator component in the measurement of productivity growth can be argued to be somewhere in the spectrum between somewhat and totally arbitrary.
Economic Attribution Error, Arnold Kling  EconLog  Library of Economics and Liberty
Comments
Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.