Inference for Product Competition and Separable Demand

Category: Marketing Seminar
When: 13 March 2018
, 12:15
 - 13:30
Where: Campus Westend, RuW 1.202
Speaker: Dr. Adam Smith (UCL School of Management)

Adam N. Smith, Peter E. Rossi, and Greg M. Allenby

This paper presents a methodology for identifying groups of products that exhibit similar patterns in demand and responsiveness to changes in price using store-level sales data. We use the concept of economic separability as an identification condition for different product groups, and build a weakly separable model of aggregate demand. A common issue with separable demand models is that the partition of products into separable groups must be known a priori, which severely shrinks the set of admissible substitution patterns. This paper relaxes this assumption and allows the partition to be an estimated model parameter. We focus on estimating partitions within a log-linear demand system where weak separability induces equality restrictions on a subset of cross-price elasticity parameters.

An advantage of our approach is that we are able to find groups of separable products rather than just test whether a given set of groups is separable. Our method is applied to two aggregate, store-level data sets. We find evidence that the separable structure of demand can be markedly different than predefined category labels, which has implications for optimal category marketing strategies.



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