Economics of Science and Engineering Workshop
Given by: Richard Freeman (Harvard University and NBER), Jorn Boenke (Labor & Worklife Program, Harvard Law School), and Maggie Cheng (Stanford University)
Cell phones are a product with continual innovation that have impacted lives around the world. American adults spend 2 hours 51 minutes on their smartphone every day. This paper analyzes the changing attributes of cell Phones in the two largest economies in the world, USA and China. It uses hedonic price regressions to assess the speed of innovative change from data on prices matched with the attributes of new and older models. It assesses the impact of innovations on cell phones on consumer well-being and assesses the seeming inconsistency between micro data on products with improved technological features and macro data that show sluggish growth of GDP per capita in the US.