Bayesian Estimation of the Random Coefficients Logit from Aggregate Count Data
49 Pages Posted: 9 May 2014
Date Written: May 7, 2014
The random coefficients logit model is a workhorse in marketing and empirical industrial organizations research. When only aggregate data are available, it is customary to calibrate the model based on market shares as data input, even if the data are available in the form of aggregate counts. However, market shares are functionally related to model primitives in the random coefficients model whereas finite aggregate counts are only probabilistic functions of these model primitives. A recent paper by Park & Gupta (2009) stresses this distinction but is hamstrung by numerical problems when demonstrating its potential practical importance. We develop Bayesian inference for the likelihood function proposed by Park & Gupta, sidestepping the numerical problem encountered by these authors. We show how taking account of the amount of information about shares by modeling counts directly results in improved inference.
Keywords: Random coefficient multinomial logit, store-level aggregate data, Bayesian estimation
JEL Classification: C11, M3
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