The Economic Perspective: “Improved Productivity”

Mary:  I’m Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at improved productivity.  Mike most of us are very aware of products whose prices have dramatically risen.  Higher prices make it costlier to afford the products.   But what about products whose prices have gone the other way – down?  Are there any examples?


Mike:  Summary Answer

  • There certainly are, and often it’s good to be reminded
  • Measure the reduction in price by drop in number of hours the average paid person would need to work to purchase
  • Look at over the last twenty years
  • Treadmill, -94%
  • Vacuum cleaner, -85%
  • Gas range -65%
  • Color TV, -61%
  • Refrigerator, -52%
  • I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.