IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • Steven Payson

    (Columbia University
    National Science Foundation)


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new method of price linking, the representative good approach (RGA), is proposed for measuring product evolution using historical documents.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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    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


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:21:y:1995:i:2:p:247-262. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Victor Matheson, College of the Holy Cross). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.