IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Price Dispersion In U.S. Manufacturing: Implications For The Aggregation Of Products And Firms

  • Thomas A Abbott III
Registered author(s):

    This paper addresses the question of whether products in the U.S. Manufacturing sector sell at a single (common) price, or whether prices vary across producers. Price dispersion is interesting for at least two reasons. First, if output prices vary across producers, standard methods of using industry price deflators lead to errors in measuring real output at the industry, firm, and establishment level which may bias estimates of the production function and productivity growth. Second, price dispersion suggests product heterogeneity which, if consumers do not have identical preferences, could lead to market segmentation and price in excess of marginal cost, thus making the current (competitive) characterization of the Manufacturing sector inappropriate and invalidating many empirical studies. In the course of examining these issues, the paper develops a robust measure of price dispersion as well as new quantitative methods for testing whether observed price differences are the result of differences in product quality. Our results indicate that price dispersion is widespread throughout manufacturing and that for at least one industry, Hydraulic Cement, it is not the result of differences in product quality.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/1992/CES-WP-92-03.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 92-3.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: Mar 1992
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:92-3
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233
    Phone: (301) 763-6460
    Fax: (301) 763-5935
    Web page: http://www.census.gov/ces
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Isard, Peter, 1977. "How Far Can We Push the "Law of One Price"?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 942-48, December.
    2. Lichtenberg, Frank R & Griliches, Zvi, 1989. "Errors of Measurement in Output Deflators," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 7(1), pages 1-9, January.
    3. Perloff, Jeffrey M & Salop, Steven, 1985. "Firm-specific information, product differentiation, and industry equilibrium," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt60v9q47r, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    4. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
    5. Carlton, Dennis W, 1979. "Contracts, Price Rigidity, and Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 1034-62, October.
    6. Dahlby, Bev & West, Douglas S, 1986. "Price Dispersion in an Automobile Insurance Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 418-38, April.
    7. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
    8. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
    9. 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..
    10. Salop, Steven & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510, October.
    11. Pratt, John W & Wise, David A & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1979. "Price Differences in Almost Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 189-211, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:92-3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Fariha Kamal)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.