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How demanding is the revealed preference approach to demand

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  • Tim Beatty

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of York)

  • Ian Crawford

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Oxford)

Abstract

A well known problem with revealed preference methods is that when data are found to satisfy their restrictions it is hard to know whether this should be viewed as a triumph for economic theory, or a warning that these conditions are so undemanding that almost anything goes. This paper allows researchers to make this distinction. Our approach builds on theoretical support in the form of an axiomatic cardinal characterisation of a measure of predictive success due to Selten(1991). We illustrate the idea using a large, nationally representative panel survey of Spanish consumers with broad commodity coverage. The results show that this approach to revealed preference methods can lead us radically to reassess our view of the empirical performance of economic theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series CeMMAP working papers with number CWP17/10.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:17/10

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  1. Hanoch, Giora & Rothschild, Michael, 1972. "Testing the Assumptions of Production Theory: A Nonparametric Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 256-75, March-Apr.
  2. Diewert, W E, 1973. "Afriat and Revealed Preference Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 419-25, July.
  3. Bronars, Stephen G, 1987. "The Power of Nonparametric Tests of Preference Maximization [The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis]," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 693-98, May.
  4. Cherchye, L.J.H. & Rock, B. de & Vermeulen, F.M.P., 2004. "The Collective Model of Household Consumption: A Nonparametric Characterization," Discussion Paper 2004-76, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Martin Browning & Laura Blow, 2006. "Revealed Preference Analysis of Characteristics Models," Economics Series Working Papers 282, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Aizcorbe, Ana M, 1991. "A Lower Bound for the Power of Nonparametric Tests," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 9(4), pages 463-67, October.
  7. M. Keith Chen & Venkat Lakshminarayanan & Laurie R. Santos, 2006. "How Basic Are Behavioral Biases? Evidence from Capuchin Monkey Trading Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 517-537, June.
  8. Varian, Hal R., 1985. "Non-parametric analysis of optimizing behavior with measurement error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 445-458.
  9. Varian, Hal R., 1990. "Goodness-of-fit in optimizing models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 125-140.
  10. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
  11. Famulari, Melissa, 1995. "A Household-Based, Nonparametric Test of Demand Theory," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 372-82, May.
  12. Sippel, Reinhard, 1997. "An Experiment on the Pure Theory of Consumer's Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1431-44, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Jose Apesteguia & Miguel A. Ballester, 2011. "A Measure of Rationality and Welfare," Working Papers 573, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Jose Apesteguia & Miguel Angel Ballester, 2012. "Choice By Sequential Procedures," Working Papers 615, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  3. Laurens CHERCHYE & Bram DE ROCK & Jeroen SABBE & Ewout VERRIEST, 2010. "Commitment in intertemporal household consumption: a revealed preference analysis," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces10.33, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  4. 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).
  5. Matthew Polisson, 2011. "Goods Versus Characteristics: Revealed Preference Procedures for Nested Models," Economics Series Working Papers 531, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Thomas Demuynck & Ewout Verriest, 2013. "I’Ll Never Forget My First Cigarette: A Revealed Preference Analysis Of The “Habits As Durables” Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54(2), pages 717-738, 05.
  7. Hjertstrand, Per & L. Swofford, James & Whitney, Gerald A., 2013. "Revealed Preference Tests of Utility Maximization and Weak Separability of Consumption, Leisure and Money with Incomplete Adjustment," Working Paper Series 971, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  8. Deb, Rahul & Pai, Mallesh M., 2014. "The geometry of revealed preference," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 203-207.
  9. Abi Adams, 2012. "Consume Now or Later? Time Inconsistency, Collective Choice and Revealed Preference," Economics Series Working Papers 625, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Mark Dean & Daniel Martin, 2011. "Testing for Rationality with Consumption Data: Demographics and Heterogeneity," Working Papers 2011-11, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  11. Matthew Polisson, 2012. "Goods versus characteristics: dimension reduction and revealed preference," IFS Working Papers W12/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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