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Measuring consumption growth: the impact of new and better products

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  • Peter J. Klenow

Abstract

This study describes how the U.S. government measures real consumption growth and how it tries to take account of a complicating factor: that the goods and services offered to consumers change over time; new products are introduced and old products are improved. The 1996 Boskin Commission critique of this government methodology is described, along with the changes made in response to that critique. Also described is recent research related to how real consumption growth should be measured in the presence of new and better products.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter J. Klenow, 2003. "Measuring consumption growth: the impact of new and better products," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 10-23.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmqr:y:2003:i:win:p:10-23:n:v.27no.1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Robert B. Barsky & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Daniel Levy, 2003. "What Can the Price Gap between Branded and Private-Label Products Tell Us about Markups?," NBER Chapters,in: Scanner Data and Price Indexes, pages 165-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Robert J. Gordon, 2000. "The Boskin Commission Report and its Aftermath," NBER Working Papers 7759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Goolsbee, Austan & Klenow, Peter J, 2002. "Evidence on Learning and Network Externalities in the Diffusion of Home Computers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 317-343, October.
    6. Amil Petrin, 2002. "Quantifying the Benefits of New Products: The Case of the Minivan," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 705-729, August.
    7. Matthew D. Shapiro & Irving Shapiro & David W. Wilcox, 1999. "Quality Improvement in Health Care: A Framework for Price and Output Measurement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 333-337.
    8. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1996. "Dealer Price Discrimination in New Car Purchases: Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 622-654, June.
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    10. Matthew D. Shapiro & Irving Shapiro & David W. Wilcox, 1999. "Quality Improvement in Health Care: A Framework for Price and Output Measurement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 333-337.
    11. David E. Lebow & Jeremy B. Rudd, 2001. "Measurement error in the consumer price index: where do we stand?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-61, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. Gort, Michael & Klepper, Steven, 1982. "Time Paths in the Diffusion of Product Innovations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 630-653, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2005. "Large Devaluations and the Real Exchange Rate," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 742-784, August.
    2. Nguyen, Thang, 2005. "Separating Quantity Shock and Quality Innovation in Relative Prices," MPRA Paper 225, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 07 May 2006.
    3. Henning Ahnert & Geoff Kenny, 2004. "Quality adjustment of European price statistics and the role for hedonics," Occasional Paper Series 15, European Central Bank.
    4. David McKenzie & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2005. "Buying Less, But Shopping More: Changes In Consumption Patterns During A Crisis," Business School Working Papers buyinglessshop, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
    5. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2004. "The size distribution of firms in an economy with fixed and entry costs," Working Papers 633, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

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    Keywords

    Consumption (Economics);

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