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Faster, Smaller, Cheaper: An Hedonic Price Analysis of PDAs

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  • Paul D. Chwelos
  • Ernst R. Berndt
  • Iain M. Cockburn

Abstract

We compute quality-adjusted price indexes for Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) for the period 1999-2004, using data on prices and characteristics of 203 models sold by 12 manufacturers. The PDA market is growing in size, it is technologically dynamic with very substantial changes in measured characteristics over time, and it has experienced rapid rates of product introduction. Hedonic regressions consistently show prices to be positively related to processor performance, RAM memory, permanent storage capacity, and battery life, as well as several measures of screen size and quality. Features such as networking, biometric identification, camera, and cellphone capability are also positively associated with price. Hedonic price indexes implied by these regressions decline at an AAGR of 21.1% to 25.6% per year during this period. A matched model price index computed from a subset of observations declines at 18.75% per year. Though these PDA rates of price decline are lower than have been estimated for desktop and laptop PCs, consumers in this "ultra-portable" segment of the computer market appear to have enjoyed substantial welfare gains over the past five years.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10746.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Publication status: published as P. D. Chwelos & E. R. Berndt & I. M. Cockburn, 2008. "Faster, smaller, cheaper: an hedonic price analysis of PDAs," Applied Economics, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 40(22), pages 2839-2856.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10746

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  1. Terry Baker, 1997. "Quality-adjusted price indexes for portable computers," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(9), pages 1115-1123.
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Cited by:
  1. Varela-Irimia, Xosé-Luís, 2011. "Age effects, unobserved characteristics and hedonic price indexes: The Spanish car market in the 1990's," Working Papers 2072/169683, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  2. Robert J. Gordon, 2006. "The Boskin Commission Report: A Retrospective One Decade Later," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 12, pages 7-22, Spring.
  3. David M. Byrne & Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2013. "Is the information technology revolution over?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Naoki Watanabe & Ryo Nakajima & Takanori Ida, 2010. "Quality-Adjusted Prices of Japanese Mobile Phone Handsets and Carriers’ Strategies," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 391-412, June.
  5. Carol A. Robbins, 2006. "R&D Expenditures for the U.S.: A Frascati to System of National Accounts Application to U.s. Data," BEA Papers 0063, Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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