Technical note-On the relation between several discrete choice models

Guiyun Feng, Xiaobo Li, Zizhuo Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In this paper, we study the relationship between several well known classes of discrete choice models, i.e., the random utility model (RUM), the representative agent model (RAM), and the semiparametric choice model (SCM). Using a welfare-based model as an intermediate, we show that the RAM and the SCM are equivalent. Furthermore, we show that both models as well as the welfare-based model strictly subsume the RUM when there are three or more alternatives, while the four are equivalent when there are only two alternatives. Thus, this paper presents a complete picture of the relationship between these choice models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1516-1525
Number of pages10
JournalOperations research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding:The research of the third author is supported by the National Science Foundation [Grant CMMI-1462676].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 INFORMS.


  • Random utility model
  • Representative agent model
  • Semiparametric choice model
  • Welfare function


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