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Revealed preference analysis of characteristics models

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  • Laura Blow

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)

  • Martin Browning

    (Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Ian Crawford

    (University of Surrey)

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 approach to characteristics models. We derive the necessary and sufficient empirical conditions under which data on the market behaviour of heterogeneous, price-taking 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 identified 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 University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics in its series CAM Working Papers with number 2005-04.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieca:2005_04

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Keywords: product characteristics; revealed preference;

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References

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  1. Blundell & Robin, 2000. "Latent separability : grouping goods without weak separability," Working Papers 156158, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  2. Diewert, W. E. & Parkan, C., 1985. "Tests for the consistency of consumer data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 127-147.
  3. Varian, Hal R., 1988. "Revealed preference with a subset of goods," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 179-185, October.
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  5. Varian, Hal R, 1983. "Non-Parametric Tests of Consumer Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 99-110, January.
  6. Ian Crawford, 2004. "Necessary and sufficient conditions for latent separability," CeMMAP working papers CWP02/04, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 2002. "Nonparametric Engel Curves and Revealed Preference," CAM Working Papers 2002-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  8. Muellbauer, John, 1974. "Household Production Theory, Quality, and the "Hedonic Technique."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 977-94, December.
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  10. Bajari, Patrick & Benkard, C. Lanier, 2004. "Demand Estimation With Heterogeneous Consumers and Unobserved Product Characteristics: A Hedonic Approach," Research Papers 1842, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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  12. C. Lanier Benkard & Patrick Bajari, 2004. "Demand Estimation with Heterogeneous Consumers and Unobserved Product Characteristics: A Hedonic Approach," NBER Working Papers 10278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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..
  14. Varian, Hal R, 1984. "The Nonparametric Approach to Production Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 579-97, May.
  15. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  16. Browning, M J, 1983. "Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Conditional Cost Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(3), pages 851-56, May.
  17. 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.
  18. Diewert, W E, 1973. "Afriat and Revealed Preference Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 419-25, July.
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