NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Anson Soderbery

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Working Papers and Chapters

April 2013Keeping it Fresh: Strategic Product Redesigns and Welfare
with Bruce A. Blonigen, Christopher R. Knittel: w18997
Product redesigns happen across virtually all types of products. While there is substantial evidence that new varieties of goods increase welfare, there is little evidence on the effect of product redesigns. We develop a model of redesign and exit decisions in a dynamic oligopoly model (a la Bajari et al (2007)) and use it to analyse redesign activity in the U.S. automobile market. We find that automobile model designs become obsolete quickly in this market, leading to fairly frequent redesigns of models despite an estimated average redesign cost around $1 billion. Our model and estimates show that firm redesign decisions depend crucially on competition for market share through introductions of new redesigns, as well as internal incentives for planned obsolescence of the existing model ...
May 2009Measuring the Benefits of Product Variety with an Accurate Variety Set
with Bruce A. Blonigen: w14956
Recent studies have used import data to assess the impact of foreign varieties on prices and welfare for a home country. The reliance on import data has a number of limitations. First, these papers rely on goods categories defined by the Harmonized System. Second, they define varieties using the Armington assumption that all imports coming from a particular country are one unique variety. Third, they ignore variety changes that may occur through foreign affiliate activity. In this paper, we revisit this literature by employing a detailed market-based data set on the U.S. automobile market that allows us to define goods varieties at a more precise level, as well as discern location of production and ownership of varieties. We show that estimated variety changes and their impacts on U.S. pri...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

 
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