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

Nonrepresentative Representative Consumers

Contents:

Author Info

  • Michael Jerison

Abstract

Single consumer models are often used to focus attention on economic efficiency, leaving aside equity considerations. In general, these ¡°representative consumer" models do not accurately portray the effects of changes in policies, endowments or technology in the multi-consumer economies they are meant to represent; but even when they do, they are not necessarily adequate for evaluating efficiency. The representative consumer can be Pareto inconsistent, preferring a situation B to A even though all the consumers in the represented economy prefer A to B. It is not clear from the literature how serious a defect this can be. The known examples of Pareto inconsistency are not robust. Small changes in the consumers' preferences remove the Pareto inconsistency. It has been an open question whether large robust Pareto inconsistencies are possible. This paper shows that they are. In one example, the actual consumers require 56% more income than the representative consumer requires in order to be compensated for the doubling of a price. But such large Pareto inconsistencies require that there is a Giffen good for the representative consumer. We argue that the inconsistencies of representative consumers in most macroeconomic applications are likely to be small and we give conditions ruling out inconsistencies entirely.

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.albany.edu/economics/research/workingp/2006/nonr.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 06-08.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:06-08

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
Phone: (518) 442-4735
Fax: (518) 442-4736

Order Information:
Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
Email:
Web: http://www.albany.edu/economics/research/workingp/index.shtml

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. JÊrÆme B. Detemple & Piero Gottardi, 1998. "Aggregation, efficiency and mutual fund separation in incomplete markets," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 443-455.
  2. Edward E. Schlee, 2001. "The Value of Information in Efficient Risk-Sharing Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 509-524, June.
  3. Chiappori, Pierre-André, 2005. "Conférence François-Albert-Angers 2004," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 81(3), pages 405-419, Septembre.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:06-08. 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: (John Bailey Jones).

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.