NBER Working Papers by Bo Soderberg

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Working Papers

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...

Published: Journal of International Economics Volume 82, Issue 2, November 2010, Pages 168–180 Cover image Measuring the benefits of foreign product variety with an accurate variety set ☆ Bruce A. Blonigena, Corresponding author contact information, E-mail the corresponding author, Anson Soderberyb, E-mail the corresponding author

May 2005Adjustment in Property Space Markets: Estimates from the Stockholm Office Market
with Peter Englund, Ake Gunnelin, Patric H. Hendershott: w11345
Markets for property space adjust only gradually because tenants are constrained by long-term leases and landlords and tenants face transactions and information costs. Not only do rents adjust slowly, but space occupancy may differ from demand at current rent, giving rise to "hidden vacancies". We estimate the joint dynamics of office rents and vacancies using an error-correction model using a new lease rent series for Stockholm offices 1977--2002 estimated on 2,500 leases. It takes 5-10 years for the market to adjust to a shock. In a model simulation of a positive employment shock open vacancies fall from the natural level of 7 percent to below 4 percent, while hidden vacancies increase by about as much. Most of the variation in hidden vacancies over time is explained by the differen...

Published: Peter Englund & Åke Gunnelin & Patric H. Hendershott & Bo Söderberg, 2008. "Adjustment in Property Space Markets: Taking Long-Term Leases and Transaction Costs Seriously," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 36(1), pages 81-109, 03.

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