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Increasing the price variation in a repeated cross section

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  • Hoderlein, Stefan
  • Mihaleva, Sonya

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hoderlein, Stefan & Mihaleva, Sonya, 2008. "Increasing the price variation in a repeated cross section," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 316-325, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:147:y:2008:i:2:p:316-325
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hoderlein, Stefan, 2011. "How many consumers are rational?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 164(2), pages 294-309, October.
    2. Arthur Lewbel, 2001. "Demand Systems with and without Errors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 611-618, June.
    3. M. Browning & P. A. Chiappori, 1998. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1241-1278, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
    6. Arthur Lewbel, 1989. "Identification and Estimation of Equivalence Scales under Weak Separability," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 311-316.
    7. 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.
    8. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-326, June.
    9. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, April.
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