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Approaches to performance measurement in hedonic analysis: Price indexes for laptop computers in the 1990's

  • Paul Chwelos
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    This paper estimates price indexes for laptop personal computers using hedonic methods and data taken from PC Magazine technical reviews. We use benchmark test results to construct a measure of system performance that encapsulates factors that have previously gone unmeasured, such as the interactions between hardware components. The resulting hedonic function is parsimonious yet has good explanatory power. A second approach to performance measurement is developed using a set of technical proxies that are shown to closely approximate the benchmark test scores, and are thus nearly perfectly equivalent in terms of resulting price index estimates. While not as parsimonious as a single performance measure, these proxies have the advantage of not requiring direct performance testing, and could thus be applied to larger data sets. Laptops were found to have declined in quality-adjusted price at an average rate of 40% per year for the period 1990-1998.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economics of Innovation and New Technology.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 199-224

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:12:y:2003:i:3:p:199-224
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    1. Erik Brynjolfsson & Chris F. Kemerer, 1996. "Network Externalities in Microcomputer Software: An Econometric Analysis of the Spreadsheet Market," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(12), pages 1627-1647, December.
    2. Hoffmann, Johannes, 1998. "Problems of inflation measurement in Germany," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 1998,01e, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
    3. Iain M. Cockburn & Aslam H. Anis, 2001. "Hedonic Analysis of Arthritis Drugs," NBER Chapters, in: Medical Care Output and Productivity, pages 439-462 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    5. Terry Baker, 1997. "Quality-adjusted price indexes for portable computers," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(9), pages 1115-1123.
    6. Ernst R. Berndt & Zvi Griliches, 1993. "Price Indexes for Microcomputers: An Exploratory Study," NBER Chapters, in: Price Measurements and Their Uses, pages 63-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Steven Caudill & Daniel Gropper, 1997. "A quality-adjusted price index for mainframe computers," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(12), pages 1605-1610.
    8. W. Erwin Diewert, 2003. "Hedonic Regressions. A Consumer Theory Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Scanner Data and Price Indexes, pages 317-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Nelson, Randy A & Tanguay, Tim L & Patterson, Christopher D, 1994. "A Quality-Adjusted Price Index for Personal Computers," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(1), pages 23-31, January.
    10. Harhoff, Dietmar & Moch, Dietmar, 1996. "Price Indexes for PC Database Software and the Value of Code Compatibility," ZEW Discussion Papers 96-17, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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