IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Axiomatic Structure of Empirical Content


  • Christopher P. Chambers
  • Federico Echenique
  • Eran Shmaya


We define the empirical content of an economic theory as the least restrictive observationally equivalent theory. We show that the empirical content of a theory is captured by a certain kind of axiomatization, with axioms that are universal negations of conjunctions of atomic formulae.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher P. Chambers & Federico Echenique & Eran Shmaya, 2014. "The Axiomatic Structure of Empirical Content," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2303-2319, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:8:p:2303-19
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.8.2303

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chambers,Christopher P. & Echenique,Federico, 2016. "Revealed Preference Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107087804, September.
    2. Kreps, David M, 1979. "A Representation Theorem for "Preference for Flexibility"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 565-577, May.
    3. Burkhard C. Schipper, 2009. "How mindless is standard economics really?," Working Papers 14, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    4. Gilboa,Itzhak, 2009. "Theory of Decision under Uncertainty," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521741231, April.
    5. Donald Brown & Felix Kubler, 2008. "Computational Aspects of General Equilibrium Theory," Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems, Springer, number 978-3-540-76591-2, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Ian Crawford & Bram De Rock, 2014. "Empirical Revealed Preference," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 503-524, August.
    2. Chambers, Christopher P. & Yenmez, M. Bumin, 2018. "A simple characterization of responsive choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 217-221.
    3. Christopher P. Chambers & Federico Echenique & Nicolas S. Lambert, 2018. "Preference Identification," Papers 1807.11585,
    4. Mikhail Freer & Cesar Martinelli, 2018. "A Representation Theorem for General Revealed Preference," Working Papers ECARES 2018-28, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Christopher J. Tyson, 2018. "Rationalizability of menu preferences," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 65(4), pages 917-934, June.
    6. Chambers, Christopher P. & Liu, Ce & Martinez, Seung-Keun, 2016. "A test for risk-averse expected utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 775-785.
    7. Mikhail Freer & Cesar Martinelli, 2018. "A Functional Approach to Revealed Preference," Working Papers 1070, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
    8. Mikhail Freer & Cesar Martinelli, 2018. "A Functional Approach to Revealed Preference," Working Papers 1070, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
    9. Gorno, Leandro, 2019. "Revealed preference and identification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 698-739.
    10. Federico Echenique, 2019. "New developments in revealed preference theory: decisions under risk, uncertainty, and intertemporal choice," Papers 1908.07561,, revised Dec 2019.
    11. Ronen Gradwohl & Eran Shmaya, 2013. "Tractable Falsifiability," Discussion Papers 1564, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    12. Chambers, Christopher P. & Echenique, Federico & Shmaya, Eran, 2017. "General revealed preference theory," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(2), May.
    13. Ola Mahmoud, 2017. "On the consistency of choice," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 83(4), pages 547-572, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:8:p:2303-19. 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: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.