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Unobserved Preference Heterogeneity in Demand Using Generalized Random Coefficients

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Abstract

We prove a new identification theorem showing nonparametric identification of the joint distribution of random coefficients in general nonlinear and additive models. This differs from existing random coefficients models by not imposing a linear index structure for the regressors. We then model unobserved preference heterogeneity in consumer demand as utility functions with random Barten scales. These Barten scales appear as random coefficients in nonlinear demand equations. Using Canadian data, we compare estimated energy demand functions with and without random Barten scales. We find that unobserved preference heterogeneity substantially affects the estimated consumer surplus costs of an energy tax.

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  • Arthur Lewbel & Krishna Pendakur, 2015. "Unobserved Preference Heterogeneity in Demand Using Generalized Random Coefficients," Discussion Papers dp15-12, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  • Handle: RePEc:sfu:sfudps:dp15-12
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unobserved heterogeneity; nonseparable errors; random utility parameters; random coefficients; equivalence scales; consumer surplus; welfare calculations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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