Measuring the Welfare Effect of Quality Change: Theory and Application of Japanese Autos
The purpose of this paper is to identify conditions under which hedonic price indexes provide an exact measure of consumer welfare, so that the welfare effects of quality change can be inferred. Our results are quite positive in providing a rational for existing practices, though the conditions needed to justify these practices are somewhat restrictive. An application of our results is provided to the increase in characteristics of Japanese autos sold in the United States following the imposition of quotas in 1981. We argue that consumers did not value the additional characteristics at their former shadow-values, but rather, attached a lower value to the increase in characteristics. We compute the exact index that reflects this lower imputed value, and compare it to the conventional quality adjustment. The deadweight loss associated with the quality change is between one-quarter and one-third of the value of upgrading.
|Date of creation:||Jul 1993|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Robert C. Feenstra, 1988. "Quality Change Under Trade Restraints in Japanese Autos," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 131-146.
- Diewert, W Erwin, 1978. "Superlative Index Numbers and Consistency in Aggregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 883-900, July.
- Zvi Griliches, 1991.
"Hedonic Price Indexes and the Measurement of Capital and Productivity: Some Historical Reflections,"
in: Fifty Years of Economic Measurement: The Jubilee of the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, pages 185-206
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Zvi Griliches, 1988. "Hedonic Price Indexes and the Measurement of Capital and Productivity: Some Historical Reflections," NBER Working Papers 2634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Swan, Peter L, 1970. "Durability of Consumption Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(5), pages 884-894, December.
- Kala Krishna, 1985. "Tariffs vs. Quotas with Endogenous Quality," NBER Working Papers 1535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Timothy F. Bresnahan & Dennis A. Yao, 1985. "The Nonpecuniary Costs of Automobile Emissions Standards," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(4), pages 437-455, Winter,.
- 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..
- Randi Boorstein & Robert C. Feenstra, 1987. "Quality Upgrading and its Welfare Cost in U.S. Steel Imports, 1969-74," NBER Working Papers 2452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carlos Alfredo Rodriguez, 1979. "The Quality of Imports and the Differential Welfare Effects of Tariffs, Quotas, and Quality Controls as Protective Devices," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 12(3), pages 439-449, August.
- Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
- W. Erwin Diewert, 1980. "Aggregation Problems in the Measurement of Capital," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Capital, pages 433-538 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrew B. Abel, 1983. "Market Structure and the Durability of Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 625-637.
- Simon P. Anderson & Andre de Palma & Jacques-Francois Thisse, 1987. "Demand for Differentiated Products," Discussion Papers 726, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- A. Michael Spence, 1975. "Monopoly, Quality, and Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(2), pages 417-429, Autumn. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)