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

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. André De Palma & Nathalie Picard & Ignacio Inoa, 2014. "Discrete Choice Decision-Making with Multiple Decision Makers within the Household," Working Papers hal-00969216, HAL.
  3. 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.
  4. Kabatek, J., 2013. "Iteration Capping For Discrete Choice Models Using the EM Algorithm," Discussion Paper 2013-019, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Shun-ichiro Bessho & Masayoshi Hayashi, 2011. "Should Japanese Tax System Be More Progressive?," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd10-181, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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