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A Goodness-of-Fit Approach to Estimating Equivalence Scales

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  • Biewen, Martin

    ()
    (University of Tuebingen)

  • Juhasz, Andos

    ()
    (University of Tuebingen)

Abstract

We use income satisfaction data in order to estimate equivalence scales. Our method differs from previous attempts to use satisfaction data for this purpose in that it can be used to estimate or evaluate any given parametric equivalence scale. It can also be employed to investigate specific questions related to equivalence scales such as whether these scales are income-dependent or to what extent they depend on specific household characteristics such as whether some household members are in a partner relationship. A further advantage of our approach is that, within a first-differencing nonlinear least-squares framework, we can carry out full statistical inference about the hypotheses under consideration. Our empirical results suggest that household economies of scale are higher than those assumed in commonly used scales such as the OECD or the Luxembourg scale. We also obtain the novel empirical result that economies of scale may decrease (rather than increase) in income, which is what one would expect if the share of consumption goods generating economies of scale (such as housing) decreases with income.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7209.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7209

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Keywords: nonlinear least squares; economies of scale; income satisfaction;

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  1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Arthur Lewbel & Krishna Pendakur, 2008. "Estimation of Collective Household Models With Engel Curves," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 694, Boston College Department of Economics.
  3. Banks, James & Johnson, Paul, 1994. "Equivalence Scale Relativities Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 883-90, July.
  4. Koulovatianos, Christos & Schroder, Carsten & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2005. "On the income dependence of equivalence scales," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 967-996, June.
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  9. Daniel W. Sacks & Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2010. "Subjective Well-Being, Income, Economic Development and Growth," NBER Working Papers 16441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Praag, B.M.S. van & Kapteyn, A.J., 1976. "A new approach to the construction of family equivalence scales," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-361896, Tilburg University.
  13. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Krishna Pendakur, 1998. "Semiparametric estimation and consumer demand," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 435-461.
  14. Bargain, Olivier & Donni, Olivier, 2012. "Expenditure on children: A Rothbarth-type method consistent with scale economies and parents' bargaining," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 792-813.
  15. Christopher R. Bollinger & Cheti Nicoletti & Stephen Pudney, 2012. "Two can live as cheaply as one... But three's a crowd," Discussion Papers 12/23, Department of Economics, University of York.
  16. Richard Layard & Guy Mayraz & Stephen Nickell, 2007. "The Marginal Utility of Income," CEP Discussion Papers dp0784, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  17. Lewbel, Arthur, 1989. "Household equivalence scales and welfare comparisons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 377-391, August.
  18. Pashardes, Panos, 1995. "Equivalence scales in a rank-3 demand system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 143-158, September.
  19. van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1991. "Ordinal and cardinal utility : An integration of the two dimensions of the welfare concept," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 69-89, October.
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