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Durable goods, price indexes and quality change: an application to automobile prices in Italy, 1988-1998

  • Gian Maria Tomat

    ()

    (Bank of Italy, Main Rome Branch, Economic Research Unit)

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    The paper analyzes the problems of measurement of durable consumer prices posed by quality change. Theoretical price indexes are defined and used to analyze several empirical methods of estimation of quality adjusted price indexes. The paper shows that hedonic regressions and other quality adjustment methods commonly used by statistical agencies do not always provide reliable price estimators. The analysis suggests that the application of methods of measurement based on chain indexes may remove the measurement problems associated with quality change. The paper includes an application of the theory to the analysis of automobile prices in Italy during the period 1988-1998.

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    File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/temi-discussione/2002/2002-0439/tema_439_02.pdf
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    Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 439.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_439_02
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Via Nazionale, 91 - 00184 Roma
    Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it

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    1. W. Erwin Diewert, 1995. "Axiomatic and Economic Approaches to Elementary Price Indexes," NBER Working Papers 5104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Diewert, W E, 1974. "Intertemporal Consumer Theory and the Demand for Durables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(3), pages 497-516, May.
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