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Cost Functions And Nonlinear Prices: Estimating A Technology With Quality-Differentiated Inputs


  • Charles D. Kolstad
  • Michelle H. L. Turnovsky


The paper is concerned with developing a production theory for the case when some inputs have nonlinear prices because the price depends on endogenous quality. This involves extending the notion of a cost function to the case where nonlinear prices are parameters of costs. After developing the appropriate theory, we apply our results to the case of coal-fired electric power generation where fuel quality depends on sulfur and ash impurities. Environmental regulations induce a negative value on sulfur whereas ash impurities degrade performance and thus reduce production possibilities. A number of empirical results emerge, including significant rates of technological change that are sulfur and ash saving though capital using. This change may explain in part the recent drop in the price of sulfur allowances in the United States. © 1998 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Suggested Citation

  • Charles D. Kolstad & Michelle H. L. Turnovsky, 1998. "Cost Functions And Nonlinear Prices: Estimating A Technology With Quality-Differentiated Inputs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 444-453, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:80:y:1998:i:3:p:444-453

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Robert E. Lipsey & Helen Stone Tice, 1989. "The Measurement of Saving, Investment, and Wealth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lips89-1, January.
    9. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    10. Elmendorf, Douglas W & Kimball, Miles S, 2000. "Taxation of Labor Income and the Demand for Risky Assets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(3), pages 801-833, August.
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    12. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kumar, Surender & Managi, Shunsuke, 2010. "Sulfur dioxide allowances: Trading and technological progress," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 623-631, January.
    2. Fanning, Jasper & Marsh, Thomas L., 2005. "Spatial Hedonic Analysis Of Veterinarian Income," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19168, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    3. repec:ind:nipfwp:03 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Curtis Carlson & Dallas Burtraw & Maureen Cropper & Karen L. Palmer, 2000. "Sulfur Dioxide Control by Electric Utilities: What Are the Gains from Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1292-1326, December.
    5. Hammarlund, Cecilia, 2013. "The Big, the Bad and the Average: Hedonic Prices and Inverse Demand for Baltic Cod," Working Papers 2013:34, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    6. Dae-Wook Kim & Christopher R. Knittel, 2004. "Biases in Static Oligopoly Models? Evidence from the California Electricity Market," NBER Working Papers 10895, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. repec:npf:wpaper:03 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Dadi Kristofersson & Kyrre Rickertsen, 2004. "Efficient Estimation of Hedonic Inverse Input Demand Systems," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(4), pages 1127-1137.
    9. Aiken, Deborah Vaughn & Pasurka, Carl Jr., 2003. "Adjusting the measurement of US manufacturing productivity for air pollution emissions control," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 329-351, October.

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