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Learning Models: An Assessment of Progress, Challenges and New Developments

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  • Andrew T. Ching

    (Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto)

  • Tülin Erdem

    (Stern School of Business, New York University)

  • Michael P. Keane

    () (Nuffield College and Department of Economics, University of Oxford)

Abstract

Learning models extend the traditional discrete choice framework by postulating that consumers have incomplete information about product attributes, and that they learn about these attributes over time. In this survey we describe the literature on learning models that has developed over the past 20 years, using the model of Erdem and Keane (1996) as a unifying framework. We described how subsequent work has extended their modeling framework, and applied learning models to a wide range of different products and markets. We argue that learning models have contributed greatly to our understanding of consumer behavior, in particular in enhancing our understanding of brand loyalty and long run advertising effects. We also discuss the limitations of existing learning models and discuss potential extensions. One key challenge is to disentangle learning as a source of dynamics from other key mechanisms that may generate choice dynamics (inventories, habit persistence, etc.). Another is to enhance identification of learning models by collecting and utilizing direct measures of signals, perceptions and expectations.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew T. Ching & Tülin Erdem & Michael P. Keane, 2013. "Learning Models: An Assessment of Progress, Challenges and New Developments," Economics Papers 2013-W07, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:1307
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    File URL: http://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/economics/papers/2013/learning_mkt_sci_new_June_16_2013.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Ganglmair, Bernhard & Simcoe, Timothy & Tarantino, Emanuele, 2018. "Learning When to Quit: An Empirical Model of Experimentation," CEPR Discussion Papers 12733, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Hai Che & Tülin Erdem & T. Öncü, 2015. "Consumer learning and evolution of consumer brand preferences," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 173-202, September.
    3. Ching, Andrew T. & Erdem, Tülin & Keane, Michael P., 2014. "A simple method to estimate the roles of learning, inventories and category consideration in consumer choice," Journal of choice modelling, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 60-72.
    4. Nathan Yang, 2011. "An Empirical Model of Industry Dynamics with Common Uncertainty and Learning from the Actions of Competitors," Working Papers 11-16, NET Institute.
    5. Michael P. Keane, 2013. "Panel data discrete choice models of consumer demand," Economics Papers 2013-W08, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    6. Andrew T. Ching & Tülin Erdem & Michael P. Keane, 2016. "Empirical Models of Learning Dynamics: A Survey of Recent Developments," Economics Papers 2016-W12, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    7. repec:eee:ijrema:v:33:y:2016:i:4:p:924-943 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Learning Models; Choice modeling; Dynamic Programming; Structural models; Brand equity;

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