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What do consumers consider before they choose? Identification from asymmetric demand responses

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Listed:
  • Jason Abaluck

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Abi Adams

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Oxford)

Abstract

Consideration set models relax the assumption that consumers are aware of all available options. Thus far, identification arguments for these models have relied either on auxiliary data on what options were considered or on instruments excluded from consideration or utility. In a discrete choice framework subsuming logit, probit and random coefficients models, we prove that utility and consideration set probabilities can be separately identified without these data intensive methods. In full-consideration models, choice probabilities satisfy a symmetry property analogous to Slutsky symmetry in continuous choice models. This symmetry breaks down in consideration set models when changes in characteristics perturb consideration, and we show that consideration probabilities are constructively identified from the resulting asymmetries. In a lab experiment, we recover preferences and consideration probabilities using only data on which items were ultimately chosen, and we apply the model to study hotel choices on Expedia.com and insurance choices in Medicare Part D.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:17/09
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    File URL: https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/wps/WP201709.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Victor H. Aguiar & Maria Jose Boccardi & Nail Kashaev & Jeongbin Kim, 2018. "Does Random Consideration Explain Behavior when Choice is Hard? Evidence from a Large-scale Experiment," Papers 1812.09619, arXiv.org, revised Jun 2019.
    2. Victor H. Aguiar & Nail Kashaev, 2019. "Discrete Choice and Welfare Analysis with Unobserved Choice Sets," Papers 1907.04853, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2019.
    3. Nail Kashaev & Natalia Lazzati, 2019. "Peer Effects in Random Consideration Sets," Papers 1904.06742, arXiv.org.
    4. Xavier Gabaix, 2017. "Behavioral Inattention," NBER Working Papers 24096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Stefano Banfi & Benjamin Villena-Roldan & Sekyu Choi, 2018. "Deconstructing job search behavior," 2018 Meeting Papers 368, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Johannes G. Jaspersen & Marc A. Ragin & Justin R. Sydnor, 2019. "Predicting Insurance Demand from Risk Attitudes," NBER Working Papers 26508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Goldin, Jacob & Reck, Daniel, 2018. "Rationalizations and mistakes: optimal policy with normative ambiguity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 89237, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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    Keywords

    Asymmetric demand responses; consumers;

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