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A Poisson mixture model of discrete choice

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  • Burda, Martin
  • Harding, Matthew
  • Hausman, Jerry

Abstract

In this paper, we introduce a new Poisson mixture model for count panel data where the underlying Poisson process intensity is determined endogenously by consumer latent utility maximization over a set of choice alternatives. This formulation accommodates the choice and count in a single random utility framework with desirable theoretical properties. Individual heterogeneity is introduced through a random coefficient scheme with a flexible semiparametric distribution. We deal with the analytical intractability of the resulting mixture by recasting the model as an embedding of infinite sequences of scaled moments of the mixing distribution, and newly derive their cumulant representations along with bounds on their rate of numerical convergence. We further develop an efficient recursive algorithm for fast evaluation of the model likelihood within a Bayesian Gibbs sampling scheme. We apply our model to a recent household panel of supermarket visit counts. We estimate the nonparametric density of three key variables of interest–price, driving distance, and their interaction–while controlling for a range of consumer demographic characteristics. We use this econometric framework to assess the opportunity cost of time and analyze the interaction between store choice, trip frequency, search intensity, and household and store characteristics. We also conduct a counterfactual welfare experiment and compute the compensating variation for a 10%–30% increase in Walmart prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Burda, Martin & Harding, Matthew & Hausman, Jerry, 2012. "A Poisson mixture model of discrete choice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(2), pages 184-203.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:166:y:2012:i:2:p:184-203
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeconom.2011.09.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Harding, Matthew & Lovenheim, Michael, 2017. "The effect of prices on nutrition: Comparing the impact of product- and nutrient-specific taxes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 53-71.
    2. Buddhavarapu, Prasad & Scott, James G. & Prozzi, Jorge A., 2016. "Modeling unobserved heterogeneity using finite mixture random parameters for spatially correlated discrete count data," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 492-510.
    3. Marques, Filipe J. & Loingeville, Florence, 2016. "Improved near-exact distributions for the product of independent Generalized Gamma random variables," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 55-66.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bayesian nonparametric analysis; Markov chain Monte Carlo; Dirichlet process prior;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities

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