Learning Models: An Assessment of Progress, Challenges and New Developments
Marketing Science, Forthcoming
54 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2011 Last revised: 14 Jul 2013
Date Written: August 11, 2011
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.
Keywords: Learning Models, Choice Modeling, Dynamic Programming, Structural Models, Brand Equity
JEL Classification: C33, C35, C61, D83, D91, M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
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By Anup Malani