The International dollar provides a way to compare prices and currency values between countries.
What is the International Dollar?
The International dollar (also known as the Geary-Khamis dollar) is a currency unit used by economists and international organizations to compare the values of different currencies. International dollar comparisons between countries have been adjusted to reflect currency exchange rates, but also adjusted to reflect purchasing power parity (PPP) and average commodity prices within each country.
International dollars for a single year are typically presented as the current international dollar—reflecting the current year's exchange rates and current PPP adjustments. When figures are compared across years, they may also be adjusted for inflation so as to represent currencies in constant (international) dollars for a base year, such as 2000.
Explaining International Dollar in Context
Sections below further define and explain usage of the international dollar concept, in context with international dollar calculations and international dollar values for various national currencies.
- What is the international dollar?
- What is the history of the International dollar? When was the concept first used?
- How do Gross National Income Figures (GNI) for 50 different countries compare, when expressed in International dollars?
- What further adjustments are sometimes made for international dollars figures to compensate for inflation?
- For more on the nature of Gross National Product and other indicators of national economic productivity, see Gross National Product.
What is the History of the International Dollar?
When Was the First Use of the Concept?
The International dollar was first proposed by Roy C. Geary, an Irish statistician, in 1958. It was further developed and promoted in the 1970s by Salem Hanna Khamis, a Palestinian economic statistician. In the last few decades, various forms of the international dollar have become the metric of choice for organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, for comparing wealth and individual earnings between nations.
Note that the International dollar comparisons between countries will generally differ from comparisons based solely on currency exchange rates (so-called nominal, or exchange rate comparisons).
How do Gross National Income Figures (GNI) for Fifty Countries ompare in International Dollars?
Below are World Bank GNI figures for 50 country economies, showing per capita gross national income (GNI)
expressed in international dollars (3rd column). As of early 2016, figures latest available figures are for 2014.Figures for and 2015 and 2016 are not yet available. Figures marked with * are for 2013. All figures in this table figures are based on the year 2011 base international dollar.
|Approx Rank Intl$|
|2013 GNI Per Capita|
Intl $ Basis
|3||United Arab Emirates||67,720|
|26||Republic of Korea||34,620|
|28||Trinadad and Tobago||31,970|
|42||Sst. Kitts and Nevis||22,600|