The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices (Google eBook)

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University of Chicago Press, Dec 1, 2007 - Business & Economics - 741 pages
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American business has recently been under fire, charged with inflated pricing and an inability to compete in the international marketplace. However, the evidence presented in this volume shows that the business community has been unfairly maligned—official measures of inflation and the standard of living have failed to account for progress in the quality of business equipment and consumer goods. Businesses have actually achieved higher productivity at lower prices, and new goods are lighter, faster, more energy efficient, and more reliable than their predecessors.

Robert J. Gordon has written the first full-scale work to treat the extent of quality changes over the entire range of durable goods, from autos to aircraft, computers to compressors, from televisions to tractors. He combines and extends existing methods of measurement, drawing data from industry sources, Consumer Reports, and the venerable Sears catalog.

Beyond his important finding that the American economy is more sound than officially recognized, Gordon provides a wealth of anecdotes tracing the postwar history of technological progress. Bolstering his argument that improved quality must be accurately measured, Gordon notes, for example, that today's mid-range personal computers outperform the multimillion-dollar mainframes of the 1970s. This remarkable book will be essential reading for economists and those in the business community.
  

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Contents

II Studies of Individual Products
109
III Sources for the Pricing of Numerous Products
415
IV Weighting Issues and Final Results
517
Appendix A Producer Price Indexes and Weights for Deflating Producers Durable Equipment in the NIPA 1967 and Earlier Years
561
Appendix B Tables B1B17 Detailed ProductbyProduct Annual Listing of Alternative and Official Price Indexes 1972 100
570
Appendix C Tables C1C6 Secondary PDE Categories Annual Listing of Alternative and Official Price Indexes 1972 100
696
References
705
Index
715
Copyright

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References to this book

Advances in Computers, Volume 43

Limited preview - 1996
Research in Labor Economics

No preview available - 1977
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About the author (2007)

Robert J. Gordon is the Stanley G. Harris Professor in the social sciences at Northwestern University. He is the editor of The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change and Milton Friedman's Monetary Framework.

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