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タイトル: Product Downsizing and Hidden Price Increases : Evidence from Japan's Deflationary Period
著者: Imai, Satoshi
Watanabe, Tsutomu
キーワード: consumer price index
scanner data
product downsizing
quality adjustment
deflation
発行日: 2013年6月
出版者: UTokyo Price Project
掲載誌情報: JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S) Understanding Persistent Deflation in Japan Working Paper Series. No.009, 2013.6
関連URI: http://www.price.e.u-tokyo.ac.jp/researchdata/
抄録: Consumer price inflation in Japan has been below zero since the mid-1990s. Given this, it is difficult for firms to raise product prices in response to an increase in marginal costs. One pricing strategy firms have taken in this situation is to reduce the size or the weight of a product while leaving the price more or less unchanged, thereby raising the effective price. In this paper, we empirically examine the extent to which product downsizing occurred in Japan as well as the effects of product downsizing on prices and quantities sold. Using scanner data on prices and quantities for all products sold at about 200 supermarkets over the last ten years, we find that about one third of product replacements that occurred in our sample period were accompanied by a size/weight reduction. The number of product replacements with downsizing has been particularly high since 2007. We also find that prices, on average, did not change much at the time of product replacement, even if a product replacement was accompanied by product downsizing, resulting in an effective price increase. However, comparing the magnitudes of product downsizings, our results indicate that prices declined more for product replacements that involved a larger decline in size or weight. Finally, we show that the quantities sold decline with product downsizing, and that the responsiveness of quantity purchased to size/weight changes is almost the same as the price elasticity, indicating that consumers are as sensitive to size/weight changes as they are to price changes. This implies that quality adjustments based on per-unit prices, which are widely used by statistical agencies in countries around the world, may be an appropriate way to deal with product downsizing.
内容記述: 2012~2016年度科学研究費補助金[基盤研究(S)]「長期デフレの解明」(研究代表者 東京大学経済学研究科・渡辺努, 課題番号:24223003)
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2261/54902
出現カテゴリ:063 ワーキングペーパー
Working Paper Series / UTokyo Price Project

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