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Convergence in Revealed Preferences for Automobiles as Differentiated Goods: U.S. and OECD Countries: 1970–1999


  • Steven Silver



Attributes of differentiated goods in personal consumption have both conceptual and policy importance in macroeconomic applications that include obsolescence rates of capital stock, the savings rate, and environmental issues. While there is both direct and indirect evidence of variation in preferences for these attributes across countries, there is also conjecture that recent global integration has reduced this variation. We examine convergence between the U.S. and four OECD countries in the levels of automobile attributes over the 1970–1999 period. Results of panel unit root tests with the U.S. as the comparison country showed convergence in the constructed measures of size, performance and efficiency. In pairwise comparisons between the U.S. and OECD countries, results of our model estimations indicated convergence in size and efficiency with estimated half lives to convergence of between four to six years. Disaggregating the definitional components of performance, results show convergence in horsepower when selected economic variables are controlled. We find that measures of trade, per capita income and price appear to be among the mechanisms through which increasing global integration relates to convergence. Directions for further study of convergence preferences for attribute profiles across countries are discussed. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2010

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Silver, 2010. "Convergence in Revealed Preferences for Automobiles as Differentiated Goods: U.S. and OECD Countries: 1970–1999," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 38(1), pages 3-14, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:38:y:2010:i:1:p:3-14
    DOI: 10.1007/s11293-009-9199-1

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    More about this item


    Convergence; Differentiated goods; Revealed preferences; Globalization; E21; F15;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration


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