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Shifting trends in semiconductor prices and the pace of technological progress

Author

Listed:
  • Ana M. Aizcorbe
  • Stephen D. Oliner
  • Daniel E. Sichel

Abstract

This paper examines three questions motivated by previous research on semiconductors and productivity growth: Why did semiconductor prices fall so rapidly in the second half of the 1990s, why has the rate of price decline slowed since 2001, and to what extent are these price swings associated with changes in the rate of advance in semiconductor technology? We show that the price swings are statistically significant and that they reflect changes in both price-cost markups and cost trends. Further analysis indicates that the shift to faster cost declines in the mid-1990s likely corresponded to a speed-up in the pace of advance in semiconductor technology; however, the slower cost declines since 2001 appear not to have been mirrored by a deceleration in technology. Consequently, researchers should be cautious about associating price or cost movements for semiconductors with changes in the pace of underlying technology even over moderately long periods.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana M. Aizcorbe & Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2006. "Shifting trends in semiconductor prices and the pace of technological progress," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-44, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2006-44
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 1998. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 47-78, January.
    2. Ana Aizcorbe & Samuel Kortum, 2005. "Moore's Law and the Semiconductor Industry: A Vintage Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(4), pages 603-630, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gilbert Cette & Christian Clerc & Lea Bresson, 2015. "Contribution of ICT Diffusion to Labour Productivity Growth: The United States, Canada, the Eurozone, and the United Kingdom, 1970-2013," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 28, pages 81-88, Spring.
    2. Dale W. Jorgenson & Mun S. Ho & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2008. "A Retrospective Look at the U.S. Productivity Growth Resurgence," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
    3. David M. Byrne & Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2018. "How Fast are Semiconductor Prices Falling?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 64(3), pages 679-702, September.
    4. Georg Graevenitz & Stefan Wagner & Dietmar Harhoff, 2013. "Incidence and Growth of Patent Thickets: The Impact of Technological Opportunities and Complexity," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 521-563, September.
    5. Antonin Bergeaud & Gilbert Cette & Rémy Lecat, 2016. "Productivity Trends in Advanced Countries between 1890 and 2012," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(3), pages 420-444, September.
    6. David M. Byrne & Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2013. "Is the Information Technology Revolution Over?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 25, pages 20-36, Spring.
    7. Cette, G. & Clerc, C. & Bresson, L., 2015. "Diffusion et contribution à la croissance des TIC aux États-Unis, dans la zone euro et au Royaume-Uni," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 200, pages 83-90.
    8. Gilbert Cette & Jimmy Lopez & Giorgio Presidente & Vincenzo Spiezia, 2019. "Measuring ‘indirect’ investments in ICT in OECD countries," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(4), pages 348-364, May.
    9. Kenneth Flamm, 2019. "Measuring Moore’s Law: Evidence from Price, Cost, and Quality Indexes," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the Twenty-First Century, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Davide Consoli & Francesco Vona & Francesco Rentocchini, 2016. "That was then, this is now: skills and routinization in the 2000s," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(5), pages 847-866.
    11. Oliner, Stephen D. & Sichel, Daniel E. & Stiroh, Kevin J., 2008. "Explaining a productive decade," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 633-673.
    12. Unni Pillai, 2013. "A Model of Technological Progress in the Microprocessor Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 877-912, December.
    13. Zoltan Csefalvay, 2019. "What are the policy options? A systematic review of policy responses to the impacts of robotisation and automation on the labour market," JRC Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2019-02, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    14. Bergeaud, A. & Cette, G. & Lecat, R., 2015. "Productivity trends from 1890 to 2012 in advanced countries," Rue de la Banque, Banque de France, issue 07, June..
    15. Susan HOUSEMAN, 2007. "Outsourcing, offshoring and productivity measurement in United States manufacturing," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 146(1-2), pages 61-80, March.
    16. Antipa, P. & Cette, G. & Frey, L. & Lecat, R. & Vigna, O., 2008. "Recent trends in productivity: structural acceleration in the euro area and deceleration in the United States?," Quarterly selection of articles - Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 11, pages 33-50, Spring.
    17. Cette, G., 2014. "Does ICT remain a powerful engine of growth?," Working papers 476, Banque de France.
    18. Susan Houseman, 2006. "Outsourcing, Offshoring, and Productivity Measurement in Manufacturing," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 06-130, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    19. repec:bfr:rueban:7 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. repec:aei:rpaper:37301 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Gonzalo Castex & Evgenia Kogan Dechter, 2014. "The Changing Roles of Education and Ability in Wage Determination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(4), pages 685-710.
    22. Hao Tan & John A. Mathews, 2007. "Cyclical Dynamics in Three Industries," DRUID Working Papers 07-07, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.

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    Keywords

    Technological innovations; Productivity; Semiconductor industry;

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