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Parting with "Blue Monday" – Preferences in Home Production and Consumer Responses to Innovations

Author

Listed:
  • Ulrich Witt

    ()

  • Julia Sophie Woersdorfer

Abstract

How can economic theory explain the reasons why consumers adopt innovations? Using the example of innovations in washing machines two approaches are compared. The first focuses in the manner of household production theory on changes in constraints without specifying preferences, leading to the well-known time substitution hypothesis. The second approach develops specific hypotheses about consumer preferences and focuses on how technical change accounts for them. The two approaches are empirically evaluated with a data set representing the motives suggested in washer advertisements for purchasing new vintages of machines over the period 1888 to 1989 in the U.S.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulrich Witt & Julia Sophie Woersdorfer, 2011. "Parting with "Blue Monday" – Preferences in Home Production and Consumer Responses to Innovations," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2011-10, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2011-10
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    File URL: ftp://137.248.191.199/RePEc/esi/discussionpapers/2011-10.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    home production; preferences; consumer motivation; product innovation; innovation diffusion; time substitution hypothesis; direct utility Length 30 pages;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy

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