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Evaluating Wireless Carrier Consolidation Using Semiparametric Demand Estimation

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  • Bajari, Patrick
  • Fox, Jeremy
  • Ryan, Stephen

Abstract

The US mobile phone service industry has dramatically consolidated over the last two decades. One justification for consolidation is that merged firms can provide consumers with larger coverage areas at lower costs. We estimate the willingness to pay for national coverage to evaluate this motivation for past consolidation. As market level quantity data is not publicly available, we devise an econometric procedure that allows us to estimate the willingness to pay using market share ranks collected from a popular online retailer, Amazon. Our semiparametric maximum score estimator controls for consumers' heterogeneous preferences for carriers, handsets and minutes of calling time. We find that national coverage is strongly valued by consumers, providing an efficiency justification for across-market mergers. The methods we propose can estimate demand for other products using data from Amazon or other online retailers where quantities are not observed, but product ranks are observed. Since Amazon data can easily be gathered by researchers, these methods may be useful for the analysis of other product markets where high quality data are not publicly available.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Regulation2point0 in its series Working paper with number 300.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:reg:wpaper:300

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References

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  1. Ching-I Huang, 2008. "Estimating demand for cellular phone service under nonlinear pricing," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 371-413, December.
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  4. Erik Brynjolfsson & Yu (Jeffrey) Hu & Michael D. Smith, 2003. "Consumer Surplus in the Digital Economy: Estimating the Value of Increased Product Variety at Online Booksellers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(11), pages 1580-1596, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Chris Forman & Anindya Ghose & Avi Goldfarb, 2006. "Geography and Electronic Commerce: Measuring Convenience, Selection, and Price," Working Papers 06-15, NET Institute, revised Sep 2006.
  2. Christopher T. Conlon & Julie Holland Mortimer, 2013. "Demand Estimation under Incomplete Product Availability," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 1-30, November.
  3. Jason R. Blevins, 2013. "Non-Standard Rates of Convergence of Criterion-Function-Based Set Estimators," Working Papers 13-02, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Ting Zhu & Hongju Liu & Pradeep Chintagunta, 2011. "Wireless Carriers’ Exclusive Handset Arrangements: An Empirical Look at the iPhone," Working Papers 11-35, NET Institute, revised Oct 2011.
  5. Nathan H. Miller, 2008. "Competition When Consumers Value Firm Scope," EAG Discussions Papers 200807, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
  6. Ching-I Huang, 2013. "Intra-household effects on demand for telephone service: Empirical evidence," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 231-261, June.

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