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Nonparametric methods for the characteristic model

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Author Info

  • Laura Blow

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Martin Browning

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Nuffield College, Oxford)

  • Ian Crawford

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Oxford)

Abstract

Characteristics models have been found to be useful in many areas of economics. However, their empirical implementation tends to rely heavily on functional form assumptions. In this paper we develop a revealed preference-based nonparametric approach to characteristics models. We derive the minimal necessary and sufficient empirical conditions under which data on the market behaviour of individual, heterogeneous, pricetaking consumers are nonparametrically consistent with the consumer characteristics model. Where these conditions hold, we show how information may be recovered on individual consumer's marginal valuations of product attributes. In some cases marginal valuations are point identi- fied and in other cases we can only recover bounds. Where the conditions fail we highlight the role which the introduction of unobserved product attributes can play in rationalising the data. We implement these ideas using consumer panel data on the Danish milk market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series CeMMAP working papers with number CWP18/04.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:18/04

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Keywords: Product characteristics; revealed preference;

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  1. Hanoch, Giora & Rothschild, Michael, 1972. "Testing the Assumptions of Production Theory: A Nonparametric Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 256-75, March-Apr.
  2. Varian, Hal R, 1984. "The Nonparametric Approach to Production Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 579-97, May.
  3. Muellbauer, John, 1974. "Household Production Theory, Quality, and the "Hedonic Technique."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 977-94, December.
  4. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  5. Heckman, James & Scheinkman, Jose, 1987. "The Importance of Bundling in a Gorman-Lancaster Model of Earnings," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 243-55, April.
  6. Varian, Hal R, 1983. "Non-Parametric Tests of Consumer Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 99-110, January.
  7. Varian, Hal R., 1988. "Revealed preference with a subset of goods," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 179-185, October.
  8. Diewert, Erwin, 2007. "Index Numbers," Economics working papers diewert-07-01-03-08-17-23, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 31 Jan 2007.
  9. Pudney, Steven E, 1981. "Instrumental Variable Estimation of a Characteristics Model of Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 417-33, July.
  10. Diewert, W E, 1973. "Afriat and Revealed Preference Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 419-25, July.
  11. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  12. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
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