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Demand Estimation with Unobserved Choice Set Heterogeneity


  • Crawford, Gregory S.
  • Griffith, Rachel
  • Iaria, Alessandro


We present a method to estimate preferences in the presence of unobserved choice set heterogeneity. We build on the insights of Chamberlain's Fixed-Effect Logit and exploit information in observed purchase decisions in either panel or cross-section environments to construct "sufficient sets" of choices that lie within consumers' true but unobserved choice sets. This allows us to recover preference parameters without having to specify the process of choice set formation. We illustrate our ideas by estimating demand for chocolate bars on-the-go using individual-level data from the UK. Our results show that failing to account for unobserved choice set heterogeneity can lead to statistically and economically significant biases in the estimation of preference parameters.

Suggested Citation

  • Crawford, Gregory S. & Griffith, Rachel & Iaria, Alessandro, 2016. "Demand Estimation with Unobserved Choice Set Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 11675, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11675

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Janet Currie & Stefano DellaVigna & Enrico Moretti & Vikram Pathania, 2010. "The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity and Weight Gain," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 32-63, August.
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    4. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521747387, May.
    5. Draganska, Michaela & Klapper, Daniel, 2010. "Choice Set Heterogeneity and the Role of Advertising: An Analysis with Micro and Macro Data," Research Papers 2063, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    6. Arellano, Manuel, 2003. "Panel Data Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199245291.
    7. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2012. "Revealed Attention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2183-2205, August.
    8. Martin Gaynor & Carol Propper & Stephan Seiler, 2016. "Free to Choose? Reform, Choice, and Consideration Sets in the English National Health Service," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3521-3557, November.
    9. Chiang, Jeongwen & Chib, Siddhartha & Narasimhan, Chakravarthi, 1998. "Markov chain Monte Carlo and models of consideration set and parameter heterogeneity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1-2), pages 223-248, November.
    10. Alon Eizenberg, 2014. "Upstream Innovation and Product Variety in the U.S. Home PC Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(3), pages 1003-1045.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jason Abaluck & Abi Adams, 2017. "What Do Consumers Consider Before They Choose? Identification from Asymmetric Demand Responses," NBER Working Papers 23566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:eee:indorg:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:1-36 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jason Abaluck & Abi Adams, 2017. "What do consumers consider before they choose? Identification from asymmetric demand responses," IFS Working Papers W17/09, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    4. Valentino Dardanoni & Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti & Christopher J. Tyson, 2017. "Inferring Cognitive Heterogeneity from Aggregate Choices," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 201701, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews, revised 25 May 2017.

    More about this item


    attention; discrete choice demand estimation; endogenous product choice; search; sufficient sets; unobserved choice set heterogeneity;

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