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Nonparametric Estimation with Nonlinear Budget Sets


  • Soren Blomquist

    () (Uppsala University, Sweden)

  • Whitney Newey

    () (MIT)


Choice models with nonlinear budget sets provide a precise way of accounting for the nonlinear tax structures present in many applications. In this paper we propose a nonparametric approach to estimation of these models. The basic idea is to think of the choice, in our case hours of labor supply, as being a function of the entire budget set. Then we can do nonparametric regression where the variable in the regression is the budget set. We reduce the dimensionality of this problem by exploiting structure implied by utility maximization with piecewise linear convex budget sets. This structure leads to estimators where the number of segments can differ across observations and does not affect accuracy. We give consistency and asymptotic normality results for these estimators. The usefulness of the estimator is demonstrated in an empirical example, where we find it has a large impact on estimated effects of the Swedish tax reform. Copyright The Econometric Society 2002.

Suggested Citation

  • Soren Blomquist & Whitney Newey, 2002. "Nonparametric Estimation with Nonlinear Budget Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2455-2480, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:70:y:2002:i:6:p:2455-2480

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1998. "Estimating Labor Supply Responses Using Tax Reforms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 827-862, July.
    2. N. S. Blomquist & U. Hansson-Brusewitz, 1990. "The Effect of Taxes on Male and Female Labor Supply in Sweden," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 317-357.
    3. Agell, S.A. & Meghir, C., 1995. "Male Labour Supply in Sweden : Are Incentives Important?," Papers 12, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    4. Hausman, Jerry A & Newey, Whitney K, 1995. "Nonparametric Estimation of Exact Consumers Surplus and Deadweight Loss," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1445-1476, November.
    5. Aronsson, Thomas & Palme, Marten, 1998. "A Decade of Tax and Benefit Reforms in Sweden: Effects on Labour Supply, Welfare and Inequality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 39-67, February.
    6. Blomquist, S.N., 1991. "Flexible Functional Forms and Coherency for Labor Supply Models," Papers 1991j, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    7. Andrews, Donald W. K., 1991. "Asymptotic optimality of generalized CL, cross-validation, and generalized cross-validation in regression with heteroskedastic errors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2-3), pages 359-377, February.
    8. Blomquist, N. Soren, 1983. "The effect of income taxation on the labor supply of married men in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 169-197, November.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply


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