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A comparison of generalized multinomial logit and latent class approaches to studying consumer heterogeneity with some extensions of the generalized multinomial logit model


Joseph Pancras, Department of Marketing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA.



We calibrate and contrast the recent generalized multinomial logit model and the widely used latent class logit model approaches for studying heterogeneity in consumer purchases. We estimate the parameters of the models on panel data of household ketchup purchases, and find that the generalized multinomial logit model outperforms the best-fitting latent class logit model in terms of the Bayesian information criterion. We compare the posterior estimates of coefficients for individual customers based on the two different models and discuss how the differences could affect marketing strategies (such as pricing), which could be affected by applying each of the models. We also describe extensions to the scale heterogeneity model that includes the effects of state dependence and purchase history. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.