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Hedonic Price Indexes and the Measurement of Capital and Productivity: Some Historical Reflections

In: Fifty Years of Economic Measurement: The Jubilee of the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth

  • Zvi Griliches

The paper describes the background for my original "hedonics" paper (Griliches 1961) and discusses some of the issues raised by the subsequent literature on this range of topics. It goes on to consider some of the implications of this work for the measurement of capital services and connects it to the Jorgenson-Griliches (1967) paper on the "explanation of productivity change." It reviews the criticisms made against that paper, especially the use of a utilization adjustment, and fin& itself, perhaps unsurprisingly, still in sympathy with its major thrust. It also cautions against interpreting the recent slowdown in the growth of total factor productivity as implying, necessarily, a parallel slowdown in the technological potential of the economy.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Ernst R. Berndt & Jack E. Triplett, 1991. "Fifty Years of Economic Measurement: The Jubilee of the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern91-1, December.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 5976.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:5976
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Epple, Dennis, 1987. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Estimating Demand and Supply Functions for Differentiated Products," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 59-80, February.
    2. Catherine J. Morrison, 1985. "On the Economic Interpretation and Measurement of Optimal Capacity Utilization with Anticipatory Expectations," NBER Working Papers 1536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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..
    4. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "Market Structure and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(2), pages 285-338.
    5. Bartik, Timothy J. & Smith, V. Kerry, 1987. "Urban amenities and public policy," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 31, pages 1207-1254 Elsevier.
    6. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
    7. Lucas, Robert E B, 1975. "Hedonic Price Functions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(2), pages 157-78, June.
    8. Daniel McFadden, 1977. "Modelling the Choice of Residential Location," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 477, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    9. Berndt, Ernst R. & Fuss, Melvyn A., 1986. "Productivity measurement with adjustments for variations in capacity utilization and other forms of temporary equilibrium," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 7-29.
    10. Miller, Edward M, 1983. "Capital Aggregation in the Presence of Obsolescence-Inducing Technical Change," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 29(3), pages 283-96, September.
    11. Kahn, James A, 1986. "Gasoline Prices and the Used Automobile Market: A Rational Expectations Asset Price Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 323-39, May.
    12. Muellbauer, John, 1974. "Household Production Theory, Quality, and the "Hedonic Technique."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 977-94, December.
    13. Zvi Griliches, 1964. "Notes on the Measurement of Price and Quality Changes," NBER Chapters, in: Models of Income Determination, pages 381-418 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Makoto Ohta & Zvi Griliches, 1976. "Automobile Prices Revisited: Extensions of the Hedonic Hypothesis," NBER Chapters, in: Household Production and Consumption, pages 325-398 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Robert J. Gordon, 1982. "Energy Efficiency, User-Cost Change, and the Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," NBER Chapters, in: The U.S. National Income and Product Accounts: Selected Topics, pages 205-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
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