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Incentives and prices for motor vehicles: what has been happening in recent years?

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Author Info

  • Carol Corrado
  • Wendy Dunn
  • Maria Otoo

Abstract

We address the construction of price indexes for consumer vehicles using data collected from a national sample of dealerships. The dataset contains highly disaggregate data on actual sales prices and quantities, along with information on customer cash rebates, financing terms, and much more. Using these data, we are able to capture the actual cash and financing incentives taken by consumers, and we demonstrate that their inclusion in measures of consumer vehicle prices is important. We also document other features of retail vehicle markets that interact and overlap with price measurement issues. In particular, we construct vehicle price indexes under different assumptions about what constitutes a "new" product in moving from one model year to the next. For the period that we study (1999 to 2003), a period during which incentives became more widespread and new model introductions rose, our preferred price index drops faster than the CPI for new vehicles.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2006-09.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2006-09

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Keywords: Automobiles - Prices ; Automobile industry and trade;

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References

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  1. Carol Corrado & John Haltiwanger & Dan Sichel, 2005. "Measuring Capital in the New Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number corr05-1.
  2. Diewert, Erwin, 2007. "Index Numbers," Economics working papers diewert-07-01-03-08-17-23, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 31 Jan 2007.
  3. Diewert, W. Erwin, 1999. "Index Number Approaches To Seasonal Adjustment," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 48-68, March.
  4. W. Erwin Diewert, 2003. "Measuring Capital," NBER Working Papers 9526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Pashigian, B Peter & Bowen, Brian & Gould, Eric, 1995. "Fashion, Styling, and the Within-Season Decline in Automobile Prices," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 281-309, October.
  6. Mark Bils, 2004. "Measuring the Growth from Better and Better Goods," NBER Working Papers 10606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
  8. Adam Copeland & Wendy Dunn & George Hall, 2005. "Prices, Production and Inventories over the Automotive Model Year," NBER Working Papers 11257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Gordon, Robert J., 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226304557, August.
  10. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  11. W. Erwin Diewert, 2005. "Issues in the Measurement of Capital Services, Depreciation, Asset Price Changes, and Interest Rates," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Capital in the New Economy, pages 479-556 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Diewert, W. Erwin, 1998. "High Inflation, Seasonal Commodities, And Annual Index Numbers," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 456-471, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Adam Copeland & Wendy Dunn & George Hall, 2005. "Prices, Production and Inventories over the Automotive Model Year," NBER Working Papers 11257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ana Aizcorbe & Benjamin Bridgman & Jeremy Nalewaik, 2009. "Heterogeneous car buyers: a stylized fact," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Sumit Agarwal & Brent W. Ambrose & Souphala Chomsisengphet, 2008. "Determinants of automobile loan default and prepayment," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 17-28.
  4. Adam Copeland & George Hall, 2011. "The response of prices, sales, and output to temporary changes in demand," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(2), pages 232-269, March.
  5. Ashley Langer & Nathan H. Miller, 2008. "Automobile Prices, Gasoline Prices, and Consumer Demand for Fuel Economy," EAG Discussions Papers 200811, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
  6. Adam Hale Shapiro & Ana Aizcorbe, 2010. "Implications of Consumer Heterogeneity on Price Measures for Technology Goods," BEA Working Papers 0062, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  7. McManus, Walter, 2007. "The link between gasoline prices and vehicle sales:economic theory trumps conventional Detroit wisdom," MPRA Paper 3463, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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