Shrinkage Priors for High-Dimensional Demand Estimation
39 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 24, 2021
Estimating demand for wide assortments of differentiated goods requires the specification of a demand system that is sufficiently flexible. However, flexible models are highly parameterized so estimation requires appropriate forms of regularization to avoid overfitting. In this paper, we study the specification of Bayesian shrinkage priors for price elasticity parameters within a log-linear demand system where the number of price elasticity parameters grows quadratically in the number of goods. Traditional regularized estimators shrink regression coefficients towards zero which can be at odds with many economic properties of price effects. We propose a hierarchical extension of the class of global-local priors commonly used in regression modeling to allow the direction and rate of shrinkage to depend on a product classification tree. We use both simulated data and retail scanner data to show that, in the absence of a strong signal in the data, estimates of price elasticities and demand predictions can be improved by imposing shrinkage to higher-level group effects rather than zero.
Keywords: Hierarchical Priors, Global-Local Priors, Non-Sparse Shrinkage, Horseshoe, Seemingly Unrelated Regression, Price Elasticities
JEL Classification: C10, C11, L11, L81, M31
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