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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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. 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.
    2. Doraszelski, Ulrich & Escobar, Juan, 2016. "Protocol Invariance and the Timing of Decisions in Dynamic Games," CEPR Discussion Papers 11447, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Otsu, Taisuke & Pesendorfer, Martin & Takahashi, Yuya, 2014. "Testing Equilibrium Multiplicity in Dynamic Games," CEPR Discussion Papers 10111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    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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