Communications Equipment: What Has Happened to Prices?


Mark Doms

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2003-15 | June 1, 2003

This paper examines the prices for communications equipment, an important component of information technology. Unlike prices for computers which officially fall sharply every year, the official prices for communications equipment have barely budged over the past decade. This paper combines earlier work on prices for several segments of communications equipment with new results for public exchanges, fiber optic equipment, and modems. The results suggest that prices for communications equipment fall much faster than official statistics would indicate, but not as fast as computers. The results presented in this paper, if incorporated into the NIPAs, would decrease MFP growth by about 0.1 percentage point per year and increase the contribution of capital deepening by a likewise amount. Also, GDP growth would be boosted marginally."

Article Citation

Doms, Mark. 2003. “Communications Equipment: What Has Happened to Prices?,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2003-15. Available at