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Statistical Models of Consumer Behavior with Heterogeneous Values and Constraints

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  • Suen, Wing

Abstract

In a market with heterogeneous individuals, the fact that a particular group of individuals are the consumers of a particular product already indicates that there exist systematic differences between them and the average person. Simple tools from statistical theory are used here to analyze the implications of consumer diversity. It is argued that an increase in consumer diversity will increase the gains from trade, and that there is a "shadow price of heterogeneity" associated with product quality. Throughout the discussion, the significance of consumer self-selection and the distinction between "average" and "marginal" will be emphasized. Copyright 1990 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 28 (1990)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 79-98

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:28:y:1990:i:1:p:79-98

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Cited by:
  1. Johannesson, Magnus & Johansson, Per-Olov, 1995. "Quality of Life and the WTP for an Increased Life Expectancy at an Advanced Age," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 85, Stockholm School of Economics.
  2. Stavins, Robert & Newell, Richard, 2000. "Cost Heterogeneity and the Potential Savings from Market-Based Policies," Discussion Papers dp-00-10-rev, Resources For the Future.
  3. Stavins, Robert & Newell, Richard, 2000. "Abatement-Cost Heterogeneity and Anticipated Savings from Market-Based Environmental Policies," Working Paper Series rwp00-006, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. Erin T. Mansur & Sheila M. Olmstead, 2007. "The Value of Scarce Water: Measuring the Inefficiency of Municipal Regulations," NBER Working Papers 13513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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