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Limit Theorems for Estimating the Parameters of Differentiated Product Demand Systems




We provide an asymptotic distribution theory for a class of Generalized Method of Moments estimators that arise in the study of differentiated product markets when the number of observations is associated with the number of products within a given market. We allow for three sources of error: the sampling error in estimating market shares, the simulation error in approximating the shares predicted by the model, and the underlying model error. The limiting distribution of the parameter estimator is normal provided the size of the consumer sample and the number of simulation draws grow at a large enough rate relative to the number of products. We specialise our distribution theory to the Berry, Levinsohn, and Pakes (1995) random coefficient logit model and a pure characteristic model. The required rates differ for these two frequently used demand models. A small Monte Carlo study shows that the difference in asymptotic properties of the two models are reflected in the models' small sample properties. These differences impact directly on the computational burden of the two models.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Berry & Oliver Linton & Ariel Pakes, 2002. "Limit Theorems for Estimating the Parameters of Differentiated Product Demand Systems," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1372, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1372

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
    2. Hausman, Jerry A & Wise, David A, 1978. "A Conditional Probit Model for Qualitative Choice: Discrete Decisions Recognizing Interdependence and Heterogeneous Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 403-426, March.
    3. Pakes, Ariel & Olley, Steven, 1995. "A limit theorem for a smooth class of semiparametric estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 295-332, January.
    4. Chamberlain, Gary, 1987. "Asymptotic efficiency in estimation with conditional moment restrictions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 305-334, March.
    5. V. Joseph Hotz & Robert A. Miller, 1993. "Conditional Choice Probabilities and the Estimation of Dynamic Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 497-529.
    6. Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 307-342, March.
    7. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1990. "Multiproduct Firms and Market Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 45-62, Spring.
    8. Newey, Whitney K, 1990. "Efficient Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 809-837, July.
    9. Steven Berry & James Levinsohn & Ariel Pakes, 2004. "Differentiated Products Demand Systems from a Combination of Micro and Macro Data: The New Car Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 68-105, February.
    10. Pakes, Ariel & Pollard, David, 1989. "Simulation and the Asymptotics of Optimization Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 1027-1057, September.
    11. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-890, July.
    12. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
    13. Pakes, Ariel & Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James A, 1993. "Applications and Limitations of Some Recent Advances in Empirical Industrial Organization: Price Indexes and the Analysis of Environmental Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 241-246, May.
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    More about this item


    Choice models; Method of moments; Random coefficients; Product differentiation;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets


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