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Estimation of Dynamic Discrete Choice Models in Continuous Time with an Application to Retail Competition

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  • Peter Arcidiacono
  • Patrick Bayer
  • Jason R. Blevins
  • Paul B. Ellickson

Abstract

This paper develops a dynamic model of retail competition and uses it to study the impact of the expansion of a new national competitor on the structure of urban markets. In order to accommodate substantial heterogeneity (both observed and unobserved) across agents and markets, the paper first develops a general framework for estimating and solving dynamic discrete choice models in continuous time that is computationally light and readily applicable to dynamic games. In the proposed framework, players face a standard dynamic discrete choice problem at decision times that occur stochastically. The resulting stochastic-sequential structure naturally admits the use of CCP methods for estimation and makes it possible to compute counterfactual simulations for relatively high-dimensional games. The model and method are applied to the retail grocery industry, into which Wal-Mart began rapidly expanding in the early 1990s, eventually attaining a dominant position. We find that Wal-Mart’s expansion into groceries came mostly at the expense of the large incumbent supermarket chains, rather than the single-store outlets that bore the brunt of its earlier conquest of the broader general merchandise sector. Instead, we find that independent grocers actually thrive when Wal-Mart enters, leading to an overall reduction in market concentration. These competitive effects are strongest in larger markets and those into which Wal-Mart expanded most rapidly, suggesting a diminishing role of scale and a greater emphasis on differentiation in this previously mature industry.

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  • Peter Arcidiacono & Patrick Bayer & Jason R. Blevins & Paul B. Ellickson, 2012. "Estimation of Dynamic Discrete Choice Models in Continuous Time with an Application to Retail Competition," NBER Working Papers 18449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18449
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    Cited by:

    1. Adam Dearing & Jason R. Blevins, 2019. "Efficient and Convergent Sequential Pseudo-Likelihood Estimation of Dynamic Discrete Games," Papers 1912.10488, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2021.
    2. Otsu, Taisuke & Pesendorfer, Martin & Takahashi, Yuya, 2013. "Testing for equilibrium multiplicity in dynamic Markov games," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 101968, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Koster, Hans R.A. & Pasidis, Ilias & van Ommeren, Jos, 2019. "Shopping externalities and retail concentration: Evidence from dutch shopping streets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C).
    4. Patrick Bajari & Chenghuan Sean Chu & Denis Nekipelov & Minjung Park, 2016. "Identification and semiparametric estimation of a finite horizon dynamic discrete choice model with a terminating action," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 271-323, December.
    5. Ulrich Doraszelski & Kenneth L. Judd, 2019. "Dynamic stochastic games with random moves," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 59-79, March.
    6. Otsu, Taisuke & Pesendorfer, Martin & Takahashi, Yuya, 2014. "Testing Equilibrium Multiplicity in Dynamic Games," CEPR Discussion Papers 10111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Metin Çakır & Xiangwen Kong & Clare Cho & Alexander Stevens, 2020. "Rural Food Retailing and Independent Grocery Retailer Exits," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 102(5), pages 1352-1367, October.
    8. Yingyao Hu & Zhongjian Lin, 2018. "Misclassification and the hidden silent rivalry," CeMMAP working papers CWP12/18, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    9. Sofia Moroni, 2019. "Existence of trembling hand perfect and sequential equilibrium in games with stochastic timing of moves," Working Paper 6757, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.
    10. Doraszelski, Ulrich & Escobar, Juan F., 2019. "Protocol invariance and the timing of decisions in dynamic games," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 14(2), May.
    11. Kun Gao & Minhua Shao & Lijun Sun, 2019. "Roles of Psychological Resistance to Change Factors and Heterogeneity in Car Stickiness and Transit Loyalty in Mode Shift Behavior: A Hybrid Choice Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(17), pages 1-20, September.
    12. Sofia Moroni, 2020. "Existence of Trembling hand perfect and sequential equilibrium in Stochastic Games," Working Paper 6837, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.
    13. Nikhil Agarwal & Itai Ashlagi & Michael A. Rees & Paulo J. Somaini & Daniel C. Waldinger, 2019. "Equilibrium Allocations under Alternative Waitlist Designs: Evidence from Deceased Donor Kidneys," NBER Working Papers 25607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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