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Identification and Estimation of Discrete Choice Models with Unobserved Choice Sets

Victor Aguiar () and Nail Kashaev

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Abstract: We propose a framework for nonparametric identification and estimation of discrete choice models with unobserved choice sets. We recover the joint distribution of choice sets and preferences from a panel dataset on choices. We assume that either the latent choice sets are sparse or that the panel is sufficiently long. Sparsity requires the number of possible choice sets to be relatively small. It is satisfied, for instance, when the choice sets are nested, or when they form a partition. Our estimation procedure is computationally fast and uses mixed-integer optimization to recover the sparse support of choice sets. Analyzing the ready-to-eat cereal industry using a household scanner dataset, we find that ignoring the unobservability of choice sets can lead to biased estimates of preferences due to significant latent heterogeneity in choice sets.

Date: 2019-07, Revised 2021-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dcm, nep-ecm and nep-upt
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