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Demand Estimation with Heterogeneous Consumers and Unobserved Product Characteristics: A Hedonic Approach

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  • Benkard, C. Lanier

    (Stanford U)

  • Bajari, Patrick
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    Abstract

    We study the identification and estimation of preferences in hedonic discrete choice models of demand for differentiated products. In the hedonic discrete choice model, products are represented as a finite dimensional bundle of characteristics, and consumers maximize utility subject to a budget constraint. Our hedonic model also incorporates product characteristics that are observed by consumers but not by the economist. We demonstrate that, unlike the case where all product characteristics are observed, it is not in general possible to uniquely recover consumer preference from data on a consumer's choices. However, we provide several sets of assumptions under which preferences can be recovered uniquely, that we think may be satisfied in many applications. Our identification and estimation strategy is a two-stage approach in the spirit of Rosen (1974). In the first stage, we show under some weak conditions that price data can be used to nonparametrically recover the unobserved product characteristics and the hedonic pricing function. In the second stage, we show under some weak conditions that if the product space is continuous and the functional form of utility is known, then there exits an inversion between a consumer's choices an her preference parameters. If the product space is discrete, we propose a Gibbs sampling algorithm to simulate the population distribution of consumers' taste coefficients.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 1691.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1691

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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Robert C. Feenstra, 1995. "Exact Hedonic Price Indexes," NBER Working Papers 5061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 2000. "Monotone Instrumental Variables, with an Application to the Returns to Schooling," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 997-1012, July.
    3. Hendel, Igal, 1999. "Estimating Multiple-Discrete Choice Models: An Application to Computerization Returns," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 423-46, April.
    4. John Geweke, 1995. "Monte Carlo simulation and numerical integration," Staff Report 192, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    5. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Marc Rysman, 2005. "Unobserved Product Differentiation in Discrete-Choice Models: Estimating Price Elasticities and Welfare Effects," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 771-788, Winter.
    6. Richard W. Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian A. Crawford, 2003. "Nonparametric Engel Curves and Revealed Preference," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 205-240, January.
    7. Bartik, Timothy J, 1987. "The Estimation of Demand Parameters in Hedonic Price Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 81-88, February.
    8. Caplin, Andrew & Nalebuff, Barry, 1991. "Aggregation and Imperfect Competition: On the Existence of Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 25-59, January.
    9. Peter Davis, 2006. "Spatial competition in retail markets: movie theaters," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 964-982, December.
    10. Geweke, John & Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David, 1994. "Alternative Computational Approaches to Inference in the Multinomial Probit Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 609-32, November.
    11. Hans M. Amman & David A. Kendrick, . "Computational Economics," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number comp1, Spring.
    12. Larry E. Jones, 1982. "A Competitive Model of Commodity Differentiation," Discussion Papers 526, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    13. Epple, Dennis, 1987. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Estimating Demand and Supply Functions for Differentiated Products," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 59-80, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Marc Rysman, 2005. "Unobserved Product Differentiation in Discrete-Choice Models: Estimating Price Elasticities and Welfare Effects," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 771-788, Winter.
    2. Bayer, Patrick & Keohane, Nathaniel & Timmins, Christopher, 2009. "Migration and hedonic valuation: The case of air quality," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-14, July.
    3. Fève, Frédérique & Fève, Patrick & Florens, Jean-Pierre, 2002. "Attribute Choices and Structural Econometrics of Price Elasticity of Demand," IDEI Working Papers 155, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 2003.
    4. Guido W. Imbens & Whitney K. Newey, 2002. "Identification and Estimation of Triangular Simultaneous Equations Models Without Additivity," NBER Technical Working Papers 0285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2000. "A Semiparametric Estimator for Dynamic Optimization Models," Economics Working Paper Archive 461, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Nov 2001.

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