Laura Grigolon (McMaster University)
"Blurred boundaries: a flexible approach for segmentation applied to the car market"
Prominent features of differentiated product markets are segmentation and product proliferation that blurs the boundaries between segments. I develop a tractable demand model, the Ordered Nested Logit, which allows for overlap between neighboring segments. I apply the model to the automobile market where segments are ordered from small to luxury. I find that consumers, when substituting outside their vehicle segment, are more likely to switch to a neighboring segment. Accounting for such asymmetric substitution matters when evaluating the impact of new product introduction or studying the effect of subsidies on fuel-efficient cars.