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Recent developments in empirical IO: dynamic demand and dynamic games

Aguirregabiria, Victor and Nevo, Aviv (2010): Recent developments in empirical IO: dynamic demand and dynamic games.

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Abstract

Empirically studying dynamic competition in oligopoly markets requires dealing with large states spaces and tackling difficult computational problems, while handling heterogeneity and multiple equilibria. In this paper, we discuss some of the ways recent work in Industrial Organization has dealt with these challenges. We illustrate problems and proposed solutions using as examples recent work on dynamic demand for differentiated products and on dynamic games of oligopoly competition. Our discussion of dynamic demand focuses on models for storable and durable goods and surveys how researchers have used the "inclusive value" to deal with dimensionality problems and reduce the computational burden. We clarify the assumptions needed for this approach to work, the implications for the treatment of heterogeneity and the different ways it has been used. In our discussion of the econometrics of dynamics games of oligopoly competition, we deal with challenges related to estimation and counterfactual experiments in models with multiple equilibria. We also examine methods for the estimation of models with persistent unobserved heterogeneity in product characteristics, firms’ costs, or local market profitability. Finally, we discuss different approaches to deal with large state spaces in dynamic games.

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