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Estimating features of a distribution from binomial data

Authors: Arthur Lewbel , Oliver Linton and Daniel McFadden
Date: 01 June 2011
Type: Journal Article, Journal of Econometrics, Vol. 162, No. 2, pp. 170--188
DOI: 10.1016/j.jeconom.2010.11.006


We propose estimators of features of the distribution of an unobserved random variableW. What is observed is a sample of Y,V,X where a binary Y equals one when Wexceeds a threshold V determined by experimental design, and X are covariates. Potential applications include bioassay and destructive duration analysis. Our empirical application is referendum contingent valuation in resource economics, where one is interested in features of the distribution of values W (willingness to pay) placed by consumers on a public good such as endangered species. Sample consumers with characteristics X are asked whether they favor (with Y=1 if yes and zero otherwise) a referendum that would provide the good at a cost V specified by experimental design. This paper provides estimators for quantiles and conditional on X moments of W under both nonparametric and semiparametric specifications.

Previous version:
Arthur Lewbel, Oliver Linton and Daniel McFadden December 2001, Estimating features of a distribution from binomial data, cemmap Working Paper, CWP07/01

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