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An Experiment on the Pure Theory of Consumer's Behaviour

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  • Reinhard Sippel
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    Abstract

    By checking whether consumer demand satis es the axioms of revealed preference, one can test the empirical validity of the neoclassical theory of consumer behaviour. However, applying the axioms to actual consumer purchase data is di cult, if not impossible, since serious problems of both a methodological and practical nature arise. This paper, after commenting on the few previous empirical studies, reports an experimental approach to revealed preference theory. Data were obtained through a controlled experiment that involved real consumption of the goods chosen. We nd that our subjects often violated the axioms.

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    File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-bonn.de/bgsepapers/bonsfb/bonsfb274.ps
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Discussion Paper Serie B with number 274.

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    Date of creation: Aug 1995
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    Handle: RePEc:bon:bonsfb:274

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    Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
    Fax: +49 228 73 6884
    Web page: http://www.bgse.uni-bonn.de

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    1. Battalio, Raymond C, et al, 1981. "Commodity-Choice Behavior with Pigeons as Subjects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(1), pages 67-91, February.
    2. Mossin, Axel, 1972. "A Mean Demand Function and Individual Demand Functions Confronted with the Weak and the Strong Axioms of Revealed Preference: An Empirical Test," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(1), pages 177-92, January.
    3. Haerdle,W. Hildenbrand,W. Jerison,M., 1988. "Empirical evidence on the law of demand," Discussion Paper Serie A 193, University of Bonn, Germany.
    4. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
    5. Polemarchakis, Heraklis M, 1983. "Expectations, Demand, and Observability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(3), pages 565-74, May.
    6. Chalfant, James A & Alston, Julian M, 1988. "Accounting for Changes in Tastes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 391-410, April.
    7. MacCrimmon, K R & Toda, M, 1969. "The Experimental Determination of Indifference Curves," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(108), pages 433-51, October.
    8. Pollak, R.A., 1990. "Distinguished Floow: Houthakker'S Contributions To Economics," Working Papers 90-06, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    9. Michael Jerison & David Jerison, 1991. "Approximately Rational Consumer Demand," Discussion Papers 92-02, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    10. Koo, Anthony Y C & Hasenkamp, Georg, 1972. "Structure of Revealed Preference: Some Preliminary Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 724-44, July-Aug..
    11. Kagel, John H, et al, 1975. "Experimental Studies of Consumer Demand Behavior Using Laboratory Animals," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(1), pages 22-38, March.
    12. Aurelio Mattei, 1994. "La cohérence des choix des consommateurs suisses," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 130(I), pages 3-20, March.
    13. Afriat, S N, 1973. "On a System of Inequalities in Demand Analysis: An Extension of the Classical Method," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(2), pages 460-72, June.
    14. Rosa L. Matzkin & Marcel K. Richter, 1987. "Testing Strictly Concave Rationality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 844, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    15. Knetsch, Jack L., 1992. "Preferences and nonreversibility of indifference curves," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 131-139, January.
    16. Sen, Amartya K, 1973. "Behaviour and the Concept of Preference," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 40(159), pages 241-59, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Reinhard Sippel, 1996. "A Note on the Power of Revealed Preference Tests with Afriat Inefficiency," Discussion Paper Serie A 303 DP No. A--528, University of Bonn, Germany.

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