Vehicle ownership, vehicle acquisitions and the growth of auto leasing: evidence from consumer surveys
This paper documents the basic features of data on motor vehicles from the Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances and the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey. Despite some methodological differences between the two surveys, we find that they yield strikingly similar pictures of households' vehicle holdings. The survey data are also quite consistent with population estimates of vehicle stocks obtained from other sources. Finally, we document the growth of auto leasing by consumers, and find little evidence for the commonly-held view that liquidity constraints ...
Recent changes in U.S. family finances: evidence from the 1998 and 2001 Survey of Consumer Finances
Data from the Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances show a striking pattern of growth in family income and net worth between 1998 and 2001. Inflation-adjusted incomes of families rose broadly, although growth was fastest among the group of families whose income was higher than the median. The median value of family net worth grew faster than that of income, but as with income, the growth rates of net worth were fastest for groups above the median. The years between 1998 and 2001 also saw a rise in the proportion of families that own corporate equities either directly or ...
Price measures for semiconductor devices
This note provides quality-adjusted price indexes and nominal shipments data for highly disaggregate classes of semiconductor devices. These data may be used to construct indexes under different assumptions from those used in indexes that are currently available. Because the construction of these building blocks require some assumptions, the indexes are compared with similar price measures constructed by Bruce Grimm (1998) and by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Why are semiconductor prices falling so fast? Industry estimates and implications for productivity measurement
By any measure, price deflators for semiconductors fell at a staggering pace over much of the last decade. These rapid declines are typically attributed to technological innovations that lower constant-quality manufacturing costs. But, given Intel's dominance in the microprocessor market, those price declines may also reflect changes in Intel's profit margins. Disaggregate data on Intel's operations are used to explore these issues. There are three basic findings. First, the industry data show that Intel's markups from its microprocessor segment shrank substantially from 1993-99. Second, ...
The replacement demand for motor vehicles: evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances
The motor vehicle industry has undergone important changes in recent years, including a shift in production from autos to light trucks and growth of vehicle leasing. This paper uses household-level data from the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances to document changes in households' acquisitions and financing of motor vehicles from 1989 to 2001. We examine what types of vehicles households had, what financing arrangements were used to acquire them, and how vehicle holdings vary with such household characteristics as income, age, wealth, and creditworthiness. The data provide useful ...
The role of semiconductor inputs in IT hardware price decline: computers vs. communications
Sharp declines in semiconductor prices are largely responsible for observed declines in computer prices. Although communications equipment also has a large semiconductor content, communications equipment prices do not fall nearly as fast as computer prices. This paper partly resolves the puzzle-first noted by Flamm(1989)-by demonstrating that prices for chips used in communications equipment do not fall nearly as fast as prices for those chips used in computers, and those differences are large enough to potentially explain all of the output price differences.
The stability of dummy variable price measures obtained from hedonic regressions
Although the stability of coefficients from hedonic regressions has received much attention recently, that of dummy variable (DV) price indexes obtained from these regressions has not. In principle, one problem translates into the other only when some prices are not observed in the data. Numerically, however, DV measures obtained from a "typical" specification can be quite unstable even when the number of missing prices is small. To the extent that collinearity is an important source of the problem, functional forms that use (orthogonal) fixed effects to control for quality differences ...
Heterogeneous car buyers: a stylized fact
Using a new dataset, we document a systematic pattern in the demographic characteristics of car buyers over the model year: as vehicle prices fall over the model year, so do buyer incomes. This pattern is consistent with price-insensitive buyers purchasing early in the year, while others wait until prices decline, and suggests price skimming (i.e. intertemporal price discrimination). Such consumer heterogeneity over the model year raises questions for measuring quality improvements in new goods.