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Quality adjusted price indexes for discrete goods

This paper discusses the construction and computation of a quality adjusted price index when the commodities are differentiated products, such as different brands of automobiles and refrigerators. The method we focus on is an extension of Trajtenberg’s approach. A key result obtained in the paper is that the evolution of the quality adjusted price index depends crucially on the fraction of consumers that do not purchase a variant of the product. The method is applied to data on automobile demand in Norway from 1994 to 2002. Both the Laspeyres index and the index based on hedonic regression yield lower estimates of the pricees from 1999 to 2002 than does the quality adjusted price index. This is mainly due to variations in the fraction of persons who purchase new automobiles.

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Paper provided by Statistics Norway, Research Department in its series Discussion Papers with number 490.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:490
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  1. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  2. Epple, Dennis, 1987. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Estimating Demand and Supply Functions for Differentiated Products," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 59-80, February.
  3. Jonker, Nicole, 2002. "Constructing quality-adjusted price indices: a comparison of hedonic and discrete choice models," Working Paper Series 0172, European Central Bank.
  4. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
  5. Aviv Nevo, 2001. "New Products, Quality Changes and Welfare Measures Computed From Estimated Demand Systems," NBER Working Papers 8425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Feenstra, Robert C, 1995. "Exact Hedonic Price Indexes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(4), pages 634-53, November.
  7. 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..
  8. McFadden, Daniel L., 1984. "Econometric analysis of qualitative response models," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1395-1457 Elsevier.
  9. Pakes, Ariel & Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James A, 1993. "Applications and Limitations of Some Recent Advances in Empirical Industrial Organization: Price Indexes and the Analysis of Environmental Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 241-46, May.
  10. Bartik, Timothy J, 1987. "The Estimation of Demand Parameters in Hedonic Price Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 81-88, February.
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