On the Estimation of Structural Hedonic Price Models
MANY COMMODITIES can be viewed as bundles of individual attributes for which no explicit markets exist. It is often of interest to estimate structural demand and supply functions for these attributes, but the absence of directly observable attribute prices poses a problem for such estimation. In an influential paper published several years ago, Rosen  proposed an estimation procedure to surmount this problem. This procedure has since been used in a number of applications (see, for example, Harrison and Rubinfeld  or Witte, et al. ). The purpose of this note is to point out certain pitfalls in Rosen's procedure, which, if ignored, could lead to major identification problems. In Section 2 we summarize briefly the key aspects of Rosen's method as it has been applied in the literature. Section 3 discusses the potential problems inherent in this procedure and provides an example. Section 4 concludes with a few suggestions for future research.