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Increasing the price variation in a repeated cross section

  • Hoderlein, Stefan
  • Mihaleva, Sonya

Insufficient price variation seriously hampers many applications of consumer demand models. This paper examines the empirical performance of a potential remedy for this problem that was suggested by [Lewbel, A., 1989. Identification and estimation of equivalence scales under weak separability. Review of Economic Studies 56, 311-316], the construction of individual specific price indices for bundles of goods. These individual specific price indices allow for a population with heterogeneity in preferences for goods within a given bundle of goods. We confine ourselves to heterogeneous Cobb Douglas within bundle preferences, while between bundles, we allow for several parametric and even general nonparametric specifications. In a variety of settings, we show that such prices produce superior empirical results than the ones obtained through the traditional practice of using aggregate price indices. Our empirical analysis is based on the British Family Expenditure Survey data, and uses several categories of food. Both in parametric as well as nonparametric models, we obtain higher precision of estimates for parameters or functions, as well as economically more plausible results.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 147 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages: 316-325

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:147:y:2008:i:2:p:316-325
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconom

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  1. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
  2. Martin Browning & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 1994. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: a General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Department of Economics Working Papers 1994-02, McMaster University.
  3. Stefan Hoderlein, 2009. "How many consumers are rational?," CeMMAP working papers CWP32/09, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Arthur Lewbel, 2001. "Demand Systems with and without Errors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 611-618, June.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521296762 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-26, June.
  7. Haag, Berthold R. & Hoderlein, Stefan & Pendakur, Krishna, 2009. "Testing and imposing Slutsky symmetry in nonparametric demand systems," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 153(1), pages 33-50, November.
  8. Richard Blundell & Xiaohong Chen & Dennis Kristensen, 2007. "Semi-Nonparametric IV Estimation of Shape-Invariant Engel Curves," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1613-1669, November.
  9. Lewbel, Arthur, 1989. "Identification and Estimation of Equivalence Scales under Weak Separability," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 311-16, April.
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