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Estimating Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for the Individual Quality Attributes with DEA


  • Lee, Jeongdong
  • Repkine, Alexandre
  • Hwang, Seogwon
  • Kim, Taiyoo


In a highly competitive environment a product’s commercial success depends increasingly more upon the ability to satisfy consumers’ preferences that are highly diversified. Since a consumer product typically comprises a host of technological attributes, its market value incorporates all of the individual values of technological attributes. If the willingness-to-pay (WTP) for individual technological characteristics of a product is known, one can conjecture the overall WTP or the imputed market price for the product. The market price listed by the producer has to be equal to or lower than this WTP for the commercial survival of the product. In this paper we propose a methodology for estimating the value of individual product characteristics and thus the overall WTP of the product with DEA. Our methodology is based on a model derived from the consumer demand theory on the one hand, and the recent theoretical developments on the flexible DEA frontiers on the other hand. The paper also presents a real case study for the mobile phone market, which is characterized by its high speed of innovation. The suggested model and its empirical applications has implications for the extension of DEA methodology to the estimation of market value of a complex multi-attribute product and/or of a value of quality attribute that is not explicitly marketable in isolation. We also expect that the framework will shed some light on the successful way of product differentiation when the cost information for individual characteristics is available.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee, Jeongdong & Repkine, Alexandre & Hwang, Seogwon & Kim, Taiyoo, 2004. "Estimating Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for the Individual Quality Attributes with DEA," MPRA Paper 7848, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:7848

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Smith, V. Kerry & Von Haefen, Roger, 1997. "Welfare measurement and representative consumer theory," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 63-67, November.
    2. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    3. Alcantud, J. C. R. & Manrique, A., 2001. "Continuous representation by a money-metric function," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 365-373, May.
    4. Blumenschein, Karen & Johannesson, Magnus & Yokoyama, Krista K. & Freeman, Patricia R., 2001. "Hypothetical versus real willingness to pay in the health care sector: results from a field experiment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 441-457, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chumpitaz, Ruben & Kerstens, Kristiaan & Paparoidamis, Nicholas & Staat, Matthias, 2010. "Comparing efficiency across markets: An extension and critique of the methodology," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 205(3), pages 719-728, September.
    2. Inha Oh & Jeong-Dong Lee & Seogwon Hwang & Almas Heshmati, 2010. "Analysis of product efficiency in the Korean automobile market from a consumer’s perspective," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 119-137, February.
    3. Ward, Damian Robert, 2009. "Product differentiation and consumption efficiency in mortgage markets," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(8), pages 805-809, August.

    More about this item


    DEA; efficient consumption; willingness to pay; multi-attribute product pricing;

    JEL classification:

    • D46 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Value Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis


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