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Product Evolution: What It Is and How It Can Be Measured

Author

Listed:
  • Steven Payson

    (Columbia University
    National Science Foundation)

Abstract

The concept of product evolution applies to products changing physically over time, but serving the same function, e.g., the broom and dustpan being replaced by the vacuum cleaner. A new method of price linking, the representative good approach (RGA), is proposed for measuring product evolution using historical documents. The RGA can shed light on evolutionary patterns of technological change, and serve as a check against other methods of quality measurement like conventional price linking and hedonics. Using the SEARS CATALOG, dramatically-different rates of product evolution were estimated for cameras, fans and air conditioners, gas ranges, shoes, and sofas, from 1928 to 1993.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Payson, 1995. "Product Evolution: What It Is and How It Can Be Measured," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 247-262, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:21:y:1995:i:2:p:247-262
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    File URL: http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/Volume21/V21N2P247_262.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Dahlan, Rolan Mauludy & Situngkir, Hokky, 2010. "Evolution of Consumers’ Preferences due to Innovation," MPRA Paper 24159, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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