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Discrete choice cannot generate demand that is additively separable in own price


  • Jaffe, Sonia
  • Kominers, Scott Duke


We show that in a unit demand discrete choice framework with at least three goods, demand cannot be additively separable in own price. This result sharpens the analogous result of Jaffe and Weyl (2010) in the case of linear demand and has implications for testing of the discrete choice assumption, out-of-sample prediction, and welfare analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaffe, Sonia & Kominers, Scott Duke, 2012. "Discrete choice cannot generate demand that is additively separable in own price," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 129-132.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:116:y:2012:i:1:p:129-132 DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2012.01.013

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
    2. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    3. Simon P. Anderson & André De Palma & Jacques-François Thisse, 1989. "Demand for Differentiated Products, Discrete Choice Models, and the Characteristics Approach," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 21-35.
    4. Jaffe Sonia & Weyl E. Glen, 2010. "Linear Demand Systems are Inconsistent with Discrete Choice," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-8, December.
    5. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-890, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacques-Francois Thisse & Philip Ushchev, 2016. "When Can A Demand System Be Described By A Multinomial Logit With Income Effect?," HSE Working papers WP BRP 139/EC/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    2. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2015. "Which demand systems can be generated by discrete choice?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 158(PA), pages 293-307.
    3. Takanori Adachi & Takeshi Ebina, 2016. "Log-linear demand systems with differentiated products are inconsistent with the representative consumer approach," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(1), pages 260-267.

    More about this item


    Discrete choice; Unit demand; Separable demand; Linear demand;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory


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