Dynamics of Consumer Demand for New Durable Goods

Gautam Gowrisankaran
Marc Rysman
Publication Type: 
Working Papers
Publication Year: 

Most new consumer durable goods experience rapid declines in prices and improvements in quality, suggesting the importance of modeling dynamics. This paper estimates a dynamic model of consumer preferences for new durable goods with persistent 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 standard COLIs overstate welfare gain in later periods due to a changing composition of buyers. The one-year industry elasticity in response to a transitory industry-wide price shock is about 25% less than the one-month elasticity.

This paper was presented at the Financial Systems, Industrial Organization and Economic Development Workshop in April of 2012. The corresponding presentation and discussion are also available.

Industrial Organization
Economic Modeling