NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Dynamics of Consumer Demand for New Durable Goods

Gautam Gowrisankaran, Marc Rysman

NBER Working Paper No. 14737
Issued in February 2009
NBER Program(s):   IO   PR

Most new consumer durable goods experience rapid prices declines and quality improvements, suggesting the importance of modeling dynamics. This paper specifies a dynamic model of consumer preferences for new durable goods with persistently heterogeneous consumer tastes, rational expectations, and repeat purchases over time. We estimate the model on the digital camcorder industry using panel data on prices, sales and characteristics. We find that the one-year elasticity in response to a transitory industry-wide price shock is about 25% less than the one-month elasticity. Standard cost-of-living indices overstate welfare gain in later periods due to a changing composition of buyers.

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This paper was revised on December 19, 2012

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14737

Published: "Dynamics of Consumer Demand for New Durable Goods," (with Marc Rysman) (Journal of Political Economy 120, 1173-1219, 2012)

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