Skip to main content

Price Measurements and Their Uses

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.

Table of Contents

Prefatory Note
Murray F. Foss
Marilyn E. Manser
Allan H. Young
I. High-Tech Products: Computers
1. Constant-Quality Price Change, Depreciation, And Retirement Of Mainframe Computers
Stephen D. Oliner
2. Price Indexes For Microcomputers: An Exploratory Study
Ernst R. Berndt
Zvi Griliches
Comment (On 1 & 2): Rosanne Cole
II. High-Tech Products: Semiconductors
3. Sources Of Price Decline In Computer Processors: Selected Electronic Components
Ellen R. Dulberger
4. Cost Function Estimation Of Quality Change In Semiconductors
John R. Norsworthy
Show-Ling Jang
5. Measurement Of Dram Prices: Technology And Market Structure
Kenneth Flamm
Comment ( On 3, 4, & 5): Jack E. Triplett
III. Quality-Change Issues In Consumer Prices
6. Adjusting Apparel Indexes In The Cpi For Quality Differences
Paul R. Liegey Jr.
7. The Effect Of Outlet Price Differentials On The U.S. Consumer Price Index
Marshall Reinsdorf
Comment (On 6 & 7): Joel Popkin
IV. Transaction Prices
8. The Problem Of List Prices In The Producer Price Index: The Steel Mill Products Case
Thomas Betsock
Irwin B. Gerduk
9. Does Government Regulation Inhibit The Reporting Of Transactions Prices By Business?
Murray F. Foss
Comment (On 8 & 9): Robert W. Crandall
V. Price Indexes For Defense And International Trade
10. The Deflation Of Military Aircraft
Richard C. Ziemer
Pamela A. Kelly
Comment: Arthur J. Alexander
VI. Implications Of Bea’s Treatment Of Computer Prices For Productivity Measurement
11. Panel Discussion: Implications Of Bea’s Treatment Of Computer Prices And Productivity Measurement
Chair: Frank De Leeuw
Statements: Edward F. Denison, Zvi Griliches, Charles R. Hulten, And Thomas K. Rymes
Comments: Arthur J. Alexander, Edwin R. Dean, René Durand, And Michael Harper

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press