A Caltech Library Service

A Microeconometric Analysis of Consumer Response to Direct Marketing and Mail Order


Kalsow, Gretchen Anne (1997) A Microeconometric Analysis of Consumer Response to Direct Marketing and Mail Order. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/1x9m-x446.


This dissertation builds a series of micro-econometric models of consumer response to direct marketing and mail order. It employs a unique dataset from one of the largest mail order firms in the United States. Prior to building the models a brief history of the mail order industry is included to alert the reader to level and type of information that has been amassed over the last century. The next chapter compares the linear probability models commonly in use in the direct marketing industry to logit discrete choice models. Following that analysis is an implementation of the Dubin and McFadden [11] discrete/continuous model. It supports the hypothesis that the decision to purchase and the purchase amount are correlated, which indicates that the independent regressions for the propensity to purchase and the purchase amount currently being used by direct marketing firms could be improved upon.

The following chapters build and estimate three discrete time/discrete choice discrete/continuous models. The first model is one in which each time period is independent of the other time periods. The second model assumes that each individual has a reservation value, or pain threshold, for ordering products. The last model is a nested logit model in which future periods, i.e., consumer’s expectations, are considered when making their purchase decision.

An appendix describing the data and the process for building the dataset is included at the end. In addition, a second appendix containing an outline of potential future research closes out the dissertation. The third appendix contains a proof of one of the propositions.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Social Science
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Humanities and Social Sciences
Major Option:Social Science
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Dubin, Jeffrey A. (advisor)
  • Davis, Lance E. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Dubin, Jeffrey A. (chair)
  • Grether, David M.
  • Kiewiet, D. Roderick
  • Page, Scott E.
Defense Date:29 May 1997
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Additional Information:The thesis title listed in 1997 commencement program -- A Microeconomic Analysis of Consumer Response to Direct Marketing and Mail Order -- varies from the actual thesis title.
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:11202019-123647830
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13582
Deposited By: Mel Ray
Deposited On:20 Nov 2019 20:49
Last Modified:18 May 2021 22:30

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page