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Demand Estimation with Heterogeneous Consumers and Unobserved Product Characteristics: A Hedonic Approach

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  • C. Lanier Benkard
  • Patrick Bajari

Abstract

We study the identification and estimation of Gorman-Lancaster style hedonic models of demand for differentiated products for the case when one product characteristic is not observed. Our identification and estimation strategy is a two-step approach in the spirit of Rosen (1974). Relative to Rosen's approach, we generalize the first stage estimation to allow for a single dimensional unobserved product characteristic, and also allow the hedonic pricing function to have a general, non-additive structure. In the second stage, if the product space is continuous and the functional form of utility is known then there exists an inversion between the consumer's choices and her preference parameters. This inversion can be used to recover the distribution of random coefficients nonparametrically. For the more common case when the set of products is finite, we use the revealed preference conditions from the hedonic model to develop a Gibbs sampling estimator for the distribution of random coefficients. We apply our methods to estimating personal computer demand.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10278
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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Blow & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 2008. "Revealed Preference Analysis of Characteristics Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 371-389.
    2. Patrick Bajari & C. Lanier Benkard & Jonathan Levin, 2007. "Estimating Dynamic Models of Imperfect Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1331-1370, September.
    3. Pradeep Chintagunta & Jean-Pierre Dubé & Khim Yong Goh, 2005. "Beyond the Endogeneity Bias: The Effect of Unmeasured Brand Characteristics on Household-Level Brand Choice Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(5), pages 832-849, May.
    4. Genakos, Christos D., 2004. "Differential merger effects: the case of the personal computer industry," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6726, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. 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.

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    JEL classification:

    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General

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