The Economics of New Goods
Edited by Timothy F. Bresnahan and Robert J. Gordon University of Chicago Press, 1997 Library of Congress HB225.E3 1997 | Dewey Decimal 330
New goods are at the heart of economic progress. The eleven essays in this volume include historical treatments of new goods and their diffusion; practical exercises in measurement addressed to recent and ongoing innovations; and real-world methods of devising quantitative adjustments for quality change.
The lead article in Part I contains a striking analysis of the history of light over two millenia. Other essays in Part I develop new price indexes for automobiles back to 1906; trace the role of the air conditioner in the development of the American south; and treat the germ theory of disease as an economic innovation. In Part II essays measure the economic impact of more recent innovations, including anti-ulcer drugs, new breakfast cereals, and computers. Part III explores methods and defects in the treatment of quality change in the official price data of the United States, Canada, and Japan.
This pathbreaking volume will interest anyone who studies economic growth, productivity, and the American standard of living.
Price Measurements and Their Uses
Edited by Murray F. Foss, Marilyn E. Manser, and Allan H. Young University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress HC106.3.C714 vol. 57 | Dewey Decimal 330
In an economy characterized by frequent change in technology, in the types of goods and services purchased, and in the forms of business organization, keeping track of price change continues to pose many difficulties. Price change affects the way we perceive changes in such basic measures as real output, productivity, and living standards. This volume, which brings together academic economists with those responsible for official price indexes, presents outstanding new research on price measurement.
Half of the papers focus on prices for mainframe and personal computers, semiconductors, and other high-tech products, using mainly hedonic techniques. The volume includes a panel discussion by distinguished economists about the theoretical and practical considerations of how best to measure price change of capital goods whose quality is changing rapidly. The authors also present new research on more conventional but still unsettled problems in the price field affecting both the consumer and producer price indexes of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Scanner Data and Price Indexes
Edited by Robert C. Feenstra and Matthew D. Shapiro University of Chicago Press, 2003 Library of Congress HC106.3.C714 vol. 64 | Dewey Decimal 330
Every time you buy a can of tuna or a new television, its bar code is scanned to record its price and other information. These "scanner data" offer a number of attractive features for economists and statisticians, because they are collected continuously, are available quickly, and record prices for all items sold, not just a statistical sample. But scanner data also present a number of difficulties for current statistical systems.
Scanner Data and Price Indexes assesses both the promise and the challenges of using scanner data to produce economic statistics. Three papers present the results of work in progress at statistical agencies in the U.S., United Kingdom, and Canada, including a project at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to investigate the feasibility of incorporating scanner data into the monthly Consumer Price Index. Other papers demonstrate the enormous potential of using scanner data to test economic theories and estimate the parameters of economic models, and provide solutions for some of the problems that arise when using scanner data, such as dealing with missing data.