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Product turnover and deflation: Evidence from Japan

Author

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  • Kozo Ueda
  • Kota Watanabe
  • Tsutomu Watanabe

Abstract

In this study, we evaluate the effects of product turnover on a welfare-based cost-of-living index. We first present several facts about price and quantity changes over the product cycle employing scanner data for Japan for the years 1988-2013, which cover the deflationary period that started in the mid-1990s. We then develop a new method to decompose price changes at the time of product turnover into those due to the quality effect and those due to the fashion effect (i.e., the higher demand for products that are new). Our main findings are as follows: (i) the price and quantity of a new product tend to be higher than those of its predecessor at its exit from the market, implying that Japanese firms use new products as an opportunity to take back the price decline that occurred during the life of its predecessor under deflation; (ii) a considerable fashion effect exists, while the quality effect is slightly declining; and (iii) the discrepancy between the cost-of-living index estimated based on our methodology and the price index constructed only from a matched sample is not large. Our study provides a plausible story to explain why Japan’s deflation during the lost decades was mild.

Suggested Citation

  • Kozo Ueda & Kota Watanabe & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2016. "Product turnover and deflation: Evidence from Japan," CAMA Working Papers 2016-71, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2016-71
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    File URL: https://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/publication/cama_crawford_anu_edu_au/2016-12/71_2016_ueda_watanabek_watanabet.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mark Bils, 2009. "Do Higher Prices for New Goods Reflect Quality Growth or Inflation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 637-675.
    2. Daniel Melser & Iqbal A. Syed, 2016. "Life Cycle Price Trends and Product Replacement: Implications for the Measurement of Inflation," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(3), pages 509-533, September.
    3. Redding, Stephen J. & Weinstein, David E., 2016. "A unified approach to estimating demand and welfare," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67681, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Abe, Naohito & Kawaguchi, Daiji, 2010. "Incumbent's price response to new entry: The case of Japanese supermarkets," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 196-212, June.
    5. Daniel Melser, 2006. "Accounting For The Effects Of New And Disappearing Goods Using Scanner Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(4), pages 547-568, December.
    6. Nao Sudo & Kozo Ueda & Kota Watanabe, 2014. "Micro Price Dynamics during Japan's Lost Decades," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 9(1), pages 44-64, January.
    7. Stephen J. Redding & David E. Weinstein, 2016. "Measuring Aggregate Price Indexes with Demand Shocks: Theory and Evidence for CES Preferences," NBER Working Papers 22479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Robert C. Feenstra & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2003. "Introduction to "Scanner Data and Price Indexes"," NBER Chapters,in: Scanner Data and Price Indexes, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Robert C. Feenstra & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2003. "Scanner Data and Price Indexes," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feen03-1.
    10. Abe, Naohito & Tonogi, Akiyuki, 2010. "Micro and macro price dynamics in daily data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 716-728, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yuki Teranishi, 2017. "Product Cycles and Prices:Search Foundation," UTokyo Price Project Working Paper Series 079, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Economics.
    2. Adam Gorajek, 2018. "Econometric Perspectives on Economic Measurement," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2018-08, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    3. Nobuhiro Abe & Kimiaki Shinozaki, 2018. "Compilation of Experimental Price Indices Using Big Data and Machine Learning:A Comparative Analysis and Validity Verification of Quality Adjustments," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 18-E-13, Bank of Japan.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cost-of-living index; product creation and destruction; fashion effect; substitution; lost decades;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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