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On the role of unobserved preference heterogeneity in discrete choice models of labour supply

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  • Daniele Pacifico

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyse the impact of unobserved preference heterogeneity in empirical applications of discrete choice models of labour supply. Typically, unobserved heterogeneity is estimated either with continuous or discrete mixture models. However, in order to avoid estimation difficulties, most of the empirical analysis assumes a relatively constrained mixture, standard examples being models where only few coefficients are allowed to vary with independent normal distributions or with discrete distributions with few mass points. We compare labour supply elasticities obtained with these typical specifications of unobserved heterogeneity with those from a more general model that we are able to estimate through an EM algorithm for the nonparametric estimation of mixed models. Results show that labour supply elasticities change significantly with respect to a basic model without unobserved heterogeneity only when the joint distribution of the varying tastes is left completely unspecified. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Empirical Economics.

Volume (Year): 45 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 929-963

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Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:45:y:2013:i:2:p:929-963

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Related research

Keywords: Labour supply; Unobserved heterogeneity; Mixed logit models; EM algorithm; J22; H31; H24; C25; C14;

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  1. Peter Haan, 2006. "Much ado about nothing: conditional logit vs. random coefficient models for estimating labour supply elasticities," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 251-256.
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Cited by:
  1. Richiardi Matteo & Poggi Ambra, 2012. "Imputing Individual Effects in Dynamic Microsimulation Models. An application of the Rank Method," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201213, University of Turin.
  2. Kabatek, J., 2013. "Iteration Capping For Discrete Choice Models Using the EM Algorithm," Discussion Paper 2013-019, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Shun-ichiro Bessho & Masayoshi Hayashi, 2012. "Should the Japanese Tax System Be More Progressive? An Evaluation Using Simulated SMCFs Based on the Discrete Choice Model of Labor Supply," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-848, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  4. Nathalie Picard & André de Palma & Ignacio A. Inoa, 2013. "Discrete Choice Decision-Making with Multiple Decision Makers within the Household," THEMA Working Papers 2013-03, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  5. Lars Kunze & Nicolai Suppa, 2013. "Job Characteristics and Labour Supply," Ruhr Economic Papers 0418, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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