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

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  • Patrick Bajari
  • C. Lanier Benkard
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    Abstract

    June 2001 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 preferences 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 exists an inversion between a consumer's choices and her preference parameters. If the product space is discrete, we propose a Gibbs sampling algorithm to simulate the population distribution of consumers' taste coefficients. Working Papers Index

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Stanford University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 01010.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:wop:stanec:01010

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    1. Steven Berry & James Levinsohn & Ariel Pakes, 1998. "Differentiated Products Demand Systems from a Combination of Micro and Macro Data: The New Car Market," NBER Working Papers 6481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Robert C. Feenstra, 1995. "Exact Hedonic Price Indexes," NBER Working Papers 5061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Epstein, Larry G, 1982. "Integrability of Incomplete Systems of Demand Functions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 411-25, July.
    4. Caplin, A. & Nalebuff, B., 1989. "Aggregation And Imperfect Competition: On The Existence Of Equilibrium," Discussion Papers 1989_30, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
    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. Charles F. Manski, 1997. "Monotone Treatment Response," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1311-1334, November.
    7. Guido W. Imbens & Whitney K. Newey, 2009. "Identification and Estimation of Triangular Simultaneous Equations Models Without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1481-1512, 09.
    8. Hans M. Amman & David A. Kendrick, . "Computational Economics," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number comp1, March Cit.
    9. Benkard, C. Lanier, 2000. "A Dynamic Analysis of the Market for Wide-Bodied Commercial Aircraft," Research Papers 1636, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    10. Larry E. Jones, 1982. "A Competitive Model of Commodity Differentiation," Discussion Papers 526, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    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. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 1998. "Monotone Instrumental Variables with an Application to the Returns to Schooling," NBER Technical Working Papers 0224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Economics of New Goods," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bres96-1.
    14. 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.
    15. Trajtenberg, Manuel, 1989. "The Welfare Analysis of Product Innovations, with an Application to Computed Tomography Scanners," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 444-79, April.
    16. John Geweke & Michael Keane & David Runkle, 1994. "Alternative computational approaches to inference in the multinomial probit model," Staff Report 170, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    17. Richard Blundell & James Powell, 2001. "Endogeneity in nonparametric and semiparametric regression models," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/01, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    18. Manski, C.F., 1992. "Identification Problems in the Social Sciences," Working papers 9217, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    19. Geweke, John, 1996. "Monte carlo simulation and numerical integration," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: H. M. Amman & D. A. Kendrick & J. Rust (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 731-800 Elsevier.
    20. James N. Brown & Harvey S. Rosen, 1982. "On the Estimation of Structural Hedonic Price Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
    22. Rosa L. Matzkin, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Nonadditive Random Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1339-1375, 09.
    23. Peter Davis, 2006. "Spatial competition in retail markets: movie theaters," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 964-982, December.
    24. C. Lanier Benkard, 2000. "A Dynamic Analysis of the Market for Wide-Bodied Commercial Aircraft," NBER Working Papers 7710, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. 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.
    26. 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.
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    Cited by:
    1. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Marc Rysman, 2002. "Unobserved Product Differentiation in Discrete Choice Models: Estimating Price Elasticities and Welfare Effects," NBER Working Papers 8798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Patrick Bayer & Nathaniel Keohane & Christopher Timmins, 2006. "Migration and Hedonic Valuation: The Case of Air Quality," NBER Working Papers 12106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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