Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Confronting the Representative Consumer with Household-Size Heterogeneity

Contents:

Author Info

  • Christos Koulovatianos
  • Carsten Schröder
  • Ulrich Schmidt

Abstract

Much analysis in macroeconomics empirically addresses economy-wide incentives behind consumer/investment choices by using insights from the way a single representative household would behave. Heterogeneity at the micro level can jeopardize attempts to back up the representative consumer construct with microfoundations. One complex aspect of micro-level heterogeneity is household size, as individuals living in multi-member households have the potential to share goods within the household, benefiting from household-size economies. Theoretically, we show that validating the role of a representative consumer would require that the way individuals benefit from intra-household sharing is strictly aligned across the rich and the poor: once expenditures for subsistence needs are subtracted from disposable household income, household-size economies the remainder (discretionary) household incomes entail must be the same across the rich and the poor. We have designed a survey method that allows the testing of this stringent property of intra-household sharing and find that it holds.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.361227.de/dp1056.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 1056.

as in new window
Length: 49 , Anh. p.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1056

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Mohrenstraße 58, D-10117 Berlin
Phone: xx49-30-89789-0
Fax: xx49-30-89789-200
Email:
Web page: http://www.diw.de/en
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Linear Aggregation; Equivalent Expenditures; Survey Method; Household-Size Economies;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Caselli, F. & Ventura, J., 1996. "A Representative Consumer Theory of Distribution," Working papers 96-11, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
  3. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2003. "Engines of Liberation," RCER Working Papers 503, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. Lilia Maliar & Serguei Maliar, 2002. "The Representative Consumer In The Neoclassical Growth Model With Idiosyncratic Shocks," Working Papers. Serie AD, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) 2002-20, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  5. Christos Koulovatianos & Carsten Schröder & Ulrich Schmidt, . "Nonmarket Household Time and the Cost of Children," Discussion Papers 08/07, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
  6. Christopher D. Carroll & Miles S. Kimball, 1995. "On the concavity of the consumption function," Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 95-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Cherchye, Laurens & Crawford, Ian & De Rock, Bram & Vermeulen, Frederic, 2011. "Aggregation without the Aggravation? Nonparametric Analysis of the Representative Consumer," IZA Discussion Papers 6266, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Atkeson, A. & Ogaki, M., 1991. "Wealth-Varying Intertemporal Elasticities of Substitution Evidence from Panel and Aggregate Data," RCER Working Papers 303, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  9. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Christopher D. Carroll, 2000. "Requiem for the Representative Consumer? Aggregate Implications of Microeconomic Consumption Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 110-115, May.
  11. Raquel Ferndez & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2001. "Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality," Penn CARESS Working Papers d3d043317c8e26c4039c21aa0, Penn Economics Department.
  12. Christos Koulovatianos, 2005. "Preferences and the Dynamic Representative Consumer," Vienna Economics Papers, University of Vienna, Department of Economics 0505, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  13. Frederic Vermeulen, 2000. "Collective household models: principles and main results," Public Economics Working Paper Series, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics ces0028, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
  14. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Quantitative Macroeconomics with Heterogeneous Households," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 319-354, 05.
  15. Lewbel, Arthur, 1991. "The Rank of Demand Systems: Theory and Nonparametric Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 711-30, May.
  16. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Greenwood, Jeremy & Guner, Nezih, 2011. "From Shame to Game in One Hundred Years: The Rise in Premarital Sex and its Destigmitization," CEPR Discussion Papers 8667, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
  18. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
  19. Christos Koulovatianos & Carsten Schroder & Ulrich Schmidt, 2004. "On the Income Dependence of Equivalence Scales," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 1-2004, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  20. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," GSIA Working Papers, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business 1997-37, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  21. Donaldson, D. & Pendakur, K., 1999. "Equivalent-Income Functions and Income-Dependent Equivalence Scales," Discussion Papers dp99-8, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  22. S. Rao Aiyagari & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2000. "On the State of the Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 213-244, April.
  23. Constantinides, George M, 1990. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 519-43, June.
  24. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-42, June.
  25. Lewbel, Arthur, 1989. "Household equivalence scales and welfare comparisons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 377-391, August.
  26. Maurizio Mazzocco, 2007. "Household Intertemporal Behaviour: A Collective Characterization and a Test of Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 857-895.
  27. Pollak, Robert A, 1971. "Additive Utility Functions and Linear Engel Curves," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(116), pages 401-14, October.
  28. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2012. "From Shame to Game in One Hundred Years: A Macroeconomic Model of the Rise in Premarital Sex and its De-Stigmatization," Working Papers 671, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  29. Pollak, Robert A & Wales, Terence J, 1979. "Welfare Comparisons and Equivalence Scales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 216-21, May.
  30. Alan P. Kirman, 1992. "Whom or What Does the Representative Individual Represent?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
  31. Jerison, Michael, 1994. "Optimal Income Distribution Rules and Representative Consumers," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 739-71, October.
  32. Lilia Maliar & Serguei Maliar, 1999. "- Heterogeneity In Capital And Skills In A Neoclassical Stochastic Growth Model," Working Papers. Serie AD, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) 1999-21, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  33. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-84, August.
  34. Fuchs-Schundeln, Nicola & Alesina, Alberto, 2007. "Good-Bye Lenin (Or Not?): The Effect of Communism on People's Preferences," Scholarly Articles 4553032, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  35. Christian Gollier & Richard Zeckhauser, 2005. "Aggregation of Heterogeneous Time Preferences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 878-896, August.
  36. Donaldson, David & Pendakur, Krishna, 2006. "The Identification of Fixed Costs From Consumer Behavior," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 255-265, July.
  37. Chatterjee, Satyajit, 1994. "Transitional dynamics and the distribution of wealth in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 97-119, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Household size heterogeneity and the representative agent
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-10-18 14:58:00

Lists

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
  1. Economic Logic blog

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1056. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.