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New Products, Quality Changes, and Welfare Measures Computed from Estimated Demand Systems

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  • Aviv Nevo

    (University of California, Berkeley, and NBER)

Abstract

This paper examines the construction of a price index based on an estimated-demand system. In principle the method examined can produce a price index that takes account of the introduction of new products and quality changes in existing products. However, I isolate two key assumptions that have to be made in order to interpret the demand estimates into welfare measures. Using estimates of a brand-level demand system for ready-to-eat cereal, I demonstrate the empirical importance of the assumptions. For the data I use, depending on the interpretation of the demand estimates, a price index can range between a 35% increase over the five years examined to a 2.4% decrease. © 2003 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Aviv Nevo, 2003. "New Products, Quality Changes, and Welfare Measures Computed from Estimated Demand Systems," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 266-275, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:85:y:2003:i:2:p:266-275
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fisher, Franklin M. & Shell, Karl, 1972. "The Economic Theory of Price Indices," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 1, number 9780122577505 edited by Shell, Karl.
    2. Small, Kenneth A & Rosen, Harvey S, 1981. "Applied Welfare Economics with Discrete Choice Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(1), pages 105-130, January.
    3. Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 307-342, March.
    4. Jerry A. Hausman, 1996. "Valuation of New Goods under Perfect and Imperfect Competition," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of New Goods, pages 207-248 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. Aviv Nevo, 2000. "A Practitioner's Guide to Estimation of Random-Coefficients Logit Models of Demand," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 513-548, December.
    8. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
    9. Jerry A. Hausman, 1997. "Valuing the Effect of Regulation on New Services in Telecommunications," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1997 Micr), pages 1-54.
    10. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
    11. Pakes, Ariel & Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James A, 1993. "Applications and Limitations of Some Recent Advances in Empirical Industrial Organization: Price Indexes and the Analysis of Environmental Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 241-246, May.
    12. Daniel McFadden, 1996. "Computing Willingness-to-Pay in Random Utility Models," Working Papers _011, University of California at Berkeley, Econometrics Laboratory Software Archive.
    13. Gordon, Robert J & Griliches, Zvi, 1997. "Quality Change and New Products," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 84-88, May.
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