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Adaptive grids for the estimation of dynamic models


  • Andreas Lanz

    (HEC Paris)

  • Gregor Reich

    (Tsumcor Research AG)

  • Ole Wilms

    (University of Hamburg
    Tilburg University)


This paper develops a method to flexibly adapt interpolation grids of value function approximations in the estimation of dynamic models using either NFXP (Rust, Econometrica: Journal of the Econometric Society, 55, 999–1033, 1987) or MPEC (Su & Judd, Econometrica: Journal of the Econometric Society, 80, 2213–2230, 2012). Since MPEC requires the grid structure for the value function approximation to be hard-coded into the constraints, one cannot apply iterative node insertion for grid refinement; for NFXP, grid adaption by (iteratively) inserting new grid nodes will generally lead to discontinuous likelihood functions. Therefore, we show how to continuously adapt the grid by moving the nodes, a technique referred to as r-adaption. We demonstrate how to obtain optimal grids based on the balanced error principle, and implement this approach by including additional constraints to the likelihood maximization problem. The method is applied to two models: (i) the bus engine replacement model (Rust, 1987), modified to feature a continuous mileage state, and (ii) to a dynamic model of content consumption using original data from one of the world’s leading user-generated content networks in the domain of music.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Lanz & Gregor Reich & Ole Wilms, 2022. "Adaptive grids for the estimation of dynamic models," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 179-238, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:qmktec:v:20:y:2022:i:2:d:10.1007_s11129-022-09252-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s11129-022-09252-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
    2. Grune, Lars & Semmler, Willi, 2004. "Using dynamic programming with adaptive grid scheme for optimal control problems in economics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2427-2456, December.
    3. Kenneth L. Judd, 1998. "Numerical Methods in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262100711, December.
    4. Che‐Lin Su & Kenneth L. Judd, 2012. "Constrained Optimization Approaches to Estimation of Structural Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(5), pages 2213-2230, September.
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    8. Rust, John, 1996. "Numerical dynamic programming in economics," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: H. M. Amman & D. A. Kendrick & J. Rust (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 619-729, Elsevier.
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    More about this item


    Numerical dynamic programming; Mathematical programming with equilibrium constraints; r-adaptive grid refinement; Equi-oscillation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques


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