Centre for Vocational Education Research LSE RSS Email Facebook Twitter


CEP discussion paper
The Growth of Network Computing: Quality Adjusted Price Changes for Network Servers
John Van Reenen
July 2005
Paper No' CEPDP0702:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: O3; L1; L4

Tags: hedonic prices; network servers; computers

In this paper we investigate the evolution of quality adjusted prices for servers motivated by two facts. First, the productivity acceleration in the US economy since the mid 1990s is closely linked to spread of information technology of which networked computing is a large component. Second, the growth of network computing itself has been fostered by the rapid growth in the quality and quantity of the network server market. Like Pakes’ (2003) analysis of the PC market, we show that our preferred version of the hedonic price index (“complete hybrid”) fell much more rapidly than the standard “matched model” price index (the hedonic index fell on average by about 30% per annum compared to 17% p.a. for the matched model). This difference is mainly due to the selection bias in the standard matched model price index due to the exit of obsolete models which would have had the fastest price falls.