The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Consumer Durables

  • John Muellbauer
Reference work entry


Applied work on the demand for durable goods has usually analysed two kinds of data. The first is time-series data on purchases, aggregated over consumers and typically with different kinds of durables aggregated into one or two groups. The second is cross-section data on the ownership of different kinds of durables. There has been a corresponding specialization in economic theory with that appropriate to the first type of data neglecting the issues of discreteness of ownership emphasized in the second and instead focusing on the dynamics of investment, expectations and adjustment costs, these being neglected in the theory of discrete choice at the level of individual households. The discussion below is in this tradition. In the first part, the focus is on the dynamics of purchases and in the second on the microeconomics of discrete choice.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Muellbauer
    • 1
  1. 1.