NBER Working Papers by Wendy Dunn

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Working Papers

April 2005Prices, Production and Inventories over the Automotive Model Year
with Adam Copeland, George Hall: w11257
This paper studies the within-model-year pricing and production of new automobiles. Using new monthly data on U.S. transaction prices, we document that for the typical new vehicle, prices fall over the model year at a 9.2 percent annual rate. Concurrently, both sales and inventories are hump shaped. To explain these time series, we formulate a market equilibrium model for new automobiles in which inventory and pricing decisions are made simultaneously. On the demand side, we use micro-level data to estimate time-varying aggregate demand curves for each vehicle. On the supply side, we solve a dynamic programming model of an automaker that, while able to produce only one vintage of a product at a time, may accumulate inventories and consequently sell multiple vintages of the same product sim...


May 2004How Fast Do Personal Computers Depreciate? Concepts and New Estimates
with Mark E. Doms, Stephen D. Oliner, Daniel E. Sichel: w10521
This paper provides new estimates of depreciation rates for personal computers using an extensive database of prices of used PCs. Our results show that PCs lose roughly half their remaining value, on average, with each additional year of use. We decompose that decline into age-related depreciation and a revaluation effect, where the latter effect is driven by the steep ongoing drop in the constant-quality prices of newly-introduced PCs. Our results are directly applicable for measuring the depreciation of PCs in the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPAs) and were incorporated into the December 2003 comprehensive NIPA revision. Regarding tax policy, our estimates suggest that the current tax depreciation schedule for PCs closely tracks the actual loss of value in a zero-inflation envi...

Published: How Fast do Personal Computers Depreciate? Concepts and New Estimates, Mark E. Doms, Wendy F. Dunn, Stephen D. Oliner, Daniel E. Sichel. in Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 18, Poterba. 2004

July 1997Unemployment Expectations, Jumping (S,s) Triggers, and Household Balance Sheets
with Christopher D. Carroll: w6081
This paper examines the relationship between household balance sheets, consumer purchases, and expectations. We find few robust empirical relationships between balance sheet measures and spending, but we do find that unemployment expectations are robustly correlated with spending. We then construct a formal model of durables and nondurables consumption with an explicit role for unemployment and for household debt. We find that the model is capable of explaining several empirical regularities which are, at best, unexplained by standard models. Finally, we show that a loosening of liquidity constraints can produce a runup in debt similar to that experienced recently in the US, and that after such a liberalization consumer purchases show heightened sensitivity to labor income uncertainty,...


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