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Fellow's Opinion: Tastes and Technology, Curvature is not Sufficient for Regularity


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  • William A. Barnett

    (Washington University)


In specifications of tastes and technology, econometricians often impose curvature globally, but monotonicity only locally or not at all. In fact monotonicity rarely is even mentioned in that literature. But without satisfaction of both curvature and monotonicity, the second order conditions for optimizing behavior fail, and duality theory fails. The resulting first order conditions, demand functions, and supply functions become invalid. Although unconstrained specifications of technology are more likely to produce violations of curvature than monotonicity, I believe that induced violations of monotonicity become common, when curvature alone is imposed. Hence the now common practice of equating regularity with curvature is not justified. Much of the research that supports this Journal of Econometrics Fellow's Opinion Article is forthcoming in a special issue of Econometric Reviews.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Econometrics with number 0110007.

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Length: 5 pages
Date of creation: 19 Oct 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpem:0110007

Note: Type of Document - Microsoft Word; prepared on IBM PC; to print on HP; pages: 5 ; figures: included. This article is a Journal of Econometrics Fellow's Opinion Article forthcoming in that journal. Much of the research that supports this opinion is forthcoming in an Econometric Reviews article coauthored with Meenakshi Pasupathy
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Keywords: curvature technology regularity monotonicity;

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  1. Barnett, William A & Kirova, Milka & Pasupathy, Meenakshi, 1995. "Estimating Policy-Invariant Deep Parameters in the Financial Sector When Risk and Growth Matter," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1402-29, November.
  2. Barnett, William A. & Geweke, John & Wolfe, Michael, 1991. "Seminonparametric Bayesian estimation of the asymptotically ideal production model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1-2), pages 5-50.
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