Modeling Multiple Sources of State Dependence in Random Utility Models: A Distributed Lag Approach

Seetharaman, P. B.
March 2004
Marketing Science;Spring2004, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p263
Academic Journal
We propose a utility-theoretic brand-choice model that accounts for four different sources of state dependence: 1. effects of lagged choices (structural state dependence), 2. effects of serially correlated error terms in the random utility function (habit persistence type 1), 3. effects of serial correlations between utility-maximizing alternatives on successive purchase occasions of a household (habit persistence type 2), and 4. effects of lagged marketing variables (carryover effects ). Our proposed model also allows habit persistence to be a function of lagged marketing variables, while accommodating the effects of unobserved heterogeneity in household choice parameters. This model is more flexible than existing state-dependence models in marketing and labor econometrics. Using scanner panel data, we find structural state dependence to be the most important source of state dependence. Marketing-mix elasticities are systematically understated if state-dependence effects are incompletely accounted for. The Seetharaman and Chintagunta (1998) model is shown to recover spurious variety-seeking effects while overstating habit-persistence effects. Ignoring habit persistence type 1 leads to an underestimation, while ignoring habit persistence type 2 leads to an overestimation of structural state-dependence effects. We find lagged promotions to have carryover effects on habit persistence. Ignoring one or more sources of state dependence underestimates the total incremental impact of a sales promotion. We draw implications for manufacturer pricing.


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