Working Paper No. 95. Inha Oh, Jeong-Dong Lee, Seogwon Hwang and Almas Heshmati (2006). Analysis of Product Efficiency in the Korean Automobile Market from a Consumer’s Perspective.

Abstract:  A product is called technically inefficient when it has higher price and/or lower quality than others. Technical inefficiency of product has been conceptualized since Lancaster (1966), and empirically measured by many researchers, for example, Fernandez-Castro and Smith (2002) and Lee et al. (2005) among others. If we know further the information about structure of utility function, allocative inefficiency can also be measured. Even though a product is technically efficient with highest quality together with lowest price, it could not be chosen in the market, if it cannot match the preference structure of consumers, i.e. it is allocatively inefficient. This study poses a conceptual and methodological framework to measure technical and allocative efficiency at the product level considering consumer’s choice, which comprises the overall efficiency. Empirically we combine Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and discrete choice model to measure the level of inefficiencies. The suggested framework is applied to the Korean automobile market. The relationship between the level of efficiency and market performance in terms of market share is discussed.