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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

Abstract

We reconsider the identification and estimation of Gorman-Lancaster-style hedonic models of demand for differentiated products in the spirit of Sherwin Rosen. We generalize Rosen's first stage to account for product characteristics that are not observed and to allow the hedonic pricing function to have a general nonseparable form. We take an alternative semiparametric approach to Rosen's second stage in which we assume that the parametric form of utility is known, but we place no restrictions on the aggregate distribution of utility parameters. If there are only a small number of products, we show how to construct bounds on individuals' utility parameters, as well as other economic objects such as aggregate demand and consumer surplus. We apply our methods to estimating the demand for personal computers.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Bajari & C. Lanier Benkard, 2005. "Demand Estimation with Heterogeneous Consumers and Unobserved Product Characteristics: A Hedonic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1239-1276, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:113:y:2005:i:6:p:1239-1276
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Patrick Bajari & Matthew E. Kahn, 2005. "Estimating Housing Demand With an Application to Explaining Racial Segregation in Cities," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 20-33, January.
    2. Epple, Dennis, 1987. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Estimating Demand and Supply Functions for Differentiated Products," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 59-80, February.
    3. Bajari, Patrick & Benkard, C. Lanier, 2004. "Demand Estimation With Heterogeneous Consumers and Unobserved Product Characteristics: A Hedonic Approach," Research Papers 1842, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    4. C. Lanier Benkard & Patrick Bajari, 2004. "Demand Estimation with Heterogeneous Consumers and Unobserved Product Characteristics: A Hedonic Approach," NBER Working Papers 10278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
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