NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

David Byrne

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2017Prices of High-Tech Products, Mismeasurement, and Pace of Innovation
with Stephen Oliner, Daniel Sichel: w23369
Two recent papers have made compelling cases that mismeasurement of prices of high tech products cannot explain the slow pace of labor productivity growth that has prevailed since the mid-2000s. Does that result indicate that mismeasurement of high-tech products has limited implications for patterns of economic growth? The answer in this paper is “no.” We demonstrate that the understatement of price declines for high-tech products in official measures has a dramatic effect on the pattern of MFP growth across sectors. In particular, we show that correcting this mismeasurement implies faster MFP growth in high-tech sectors and slower MFP advance outside the high-tech sector. If MFP growth is taken as a rough proxy for the pace of innovation, our results suggest that innovation in the t...

Published: David Byrne & Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2017. "Prices of high-tech products, mismeasurement, and the pace of innovation," Business Economics, vol 52(2), pages 103-113.

April 2015How Fast are Semiconductor Prices Falling?
with Stephen D. Oliner, Daniel E. Sichel: w21074
The Producer Price Index (PPI) for the United States suggests that semiconductor prices have barely been falling in recent years, a dramatic contrast from the rapid declines reported from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s. This slowdown in the rate of decline is puzzling in light of evidence that the performance of microprocessor units (MPUs) has continued to improve at a rapid pace. Roughly coincident with the shift to slower price declines in the PPI, Intel — the leading producer of MPUs — substantially changed its pricing behavior for these chips. As a result of this change, we argue that the matched-model methodology used in the PPI for MPUs likely started to be biased in the mid-2000s and that hedonic indexes can provide a more accurate measure of price change since then. Our prefe...

Published: David M. Byrne & Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2017. "How Fast are Semiconductor Prices Falling?," Review of Income and Wealth, .

November 2013Price and Quality Dispersion in an Offshoring Market: Evidence from Semiconductor Production Services
with Brian K. Kovak, Ryan Michaels: w19637
This paper studies price and quality differences across international intermediate input suppliers. We develop price measures that account for (i) differences in product characteristics, (ii) unobserved quality differences, and (iii) pure (frictional) price dispersion across suppliers. Using uniquely detailed transaction- level data from the semiconductor industry, we document large average price differences across suppliers for observationally identical products, and find that price differentials close over the product life cycle. We interpret this finding in a model where buyers face costs of switching suppliers. The theory demonstrates how to use the observed price dynamics to adjust prices for unobserved quality differences across suppliers. The results of this analysis reveal tha...
 
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