Table of Contents

Handbook on the Economics of Retailing and Distribution

Handbook on the Economics of Retailing and Distribution

Edited by Emek Basker

This Handbook explores and critically examines current research in economics and marketing science on key economic issues in retailing and distribution. Providing a rich perspective for the discussion of public policy, contributions from several disciplines and continents range from the history of chains and the impact of multinational retailers on international trade patterns; to the US merger policy in the retail context, the rise of the Internet and consumer-to-consumer sales. This state-of-the-art Handbook is an essential reference for students and academics of economics and marketing science and offers outsiders valuable perspectives on operations research, data analytics, geography, and sociology.

Chapter 13: Demand estimation with availability variation

William Hickman and Julie Holland Mortimer

Subjects: business and management, marketing, economics and finance, industrial economics


Estimates of demand are identified from variation in the choice sets that consumers face and the corresponding purchase probabilities for individual products. Retail settings often provide an opportunity to observe variation in consumer choice sets that arises not only through changes in observable product characteristics, such as price, but also through changes in product availability. We review the literature that develops methods for estimating demand in these settings, with emphasis on two mechanisms through which product availability may vary: product assortment decisions, and stockout events. We also briefly discuss variation in availability that may arise from limited consumer information.

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