Hedonic Price Indexes and the Measurement of Capital and Productivity: Some Historical Reflections
NBER Working Paper No. 2634
The paper describes the background for my original "hedonics" paper (Griliches 1961) and discusses some of the issues raised by the subsequent literature on this range of topics. It goes on to consider some of the implications of this work for the measurement of capital services and connects it to the Jorgenson-Griliches (1967) paper on the "explanation of productivity change." It reviews the criticisms made against that paper, especially the use of a utilization adjustment, and fin& itself, perhaps unsurprisingly, still in sympathy with its major thrust. It also cautions against interpreting the recent slowdown in the growth of total factor productivity as implying, necessarily, a parallel slowdown in the technological potential of the economy.