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Partial Identification of Heterogeneity in Preference Orderings Over Discrete Choices

  • Itai Sher
  • Jeremy T. Fox
  • Kyoo il Kim
  • Patrick Bajari

We study a variant of a random utility model that takes a probability distribution over preference relations as its primitive. We do not model products using a space of observed characteristics. The distribution of preferences is only partially identified using cross-sectional data on varying budget sets. Imposing monotonicity in product characteristics does not restore full identification. Using a linear programming approach to partial identification, we show how to obtain bounds on probabilities of any ordering relation. We also do constructively point identify the proportion of consumers who prefer one budget set over one or two others. This result is useful for welfare. Panel data and special regressors are two ways to gain full point identification.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17346.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17346.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17346
Note: IO TWP
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  1. Arthur Lewbel, 1999. "Semiparametric Qualitative Response Model Estimation with Unknown Heteroskedasticity or Instrumental Variables," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 454, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Barbera, Salvador & Pattanaik, Prasanta K, 1986. "Falmagne and the Rationalizability of Stochastic Choices in Terms of Random Orderings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 707-15, May.
  3. Ichimura, Hidehiko & Thompson, T. Scott, 1998. "Maximum likelihood estimation of a binary choice model with random coefficients of unknown distribution," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 269-295, June.
  4. Goettler, R., 1999. "Advertising Rates, Audience Composition, and Competition in the Network Television Industry," GSIA Working Papers 1999-28, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  5. Matzkin, Rosa L., 1993. "Nonparametric identification and estimation of polychotomous choice models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 137-168, July.
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