>It also goes for metal parts
Speaking of which, I was just reading a paper by Jack Triplett on the new economy. In it he says:
"It is amazing to see quality improvements to automobiles in the 1990's, great as they have been, held up as part of the unprecedented improvement story, or-as in a press account I read recently-quality change in automobiles given as an example of the new economy, contrasted with a ton of steel in the old. Actually, the first thing wrong with that contrast is that quality change in a ton of steel has been formidable."
Is steel really lots better today than it was 50 years ago? How?