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Ordinal and cardinal utility : An integration of the two dimensions of the welfare concept

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  • van Praag, Bernard M. S.

Abstract

In this paper we distinguish two "dimensions" of the utility concept. The first is the "behavioral" dimension, described by indifference curves in a commodity space. It may be estimated by observing consumer purchase behavior. The second dimension is the "welfare" dimension, i.e., the cardinal utility levels . corresponding to indifference curves. The second dimension may be estimated by means of the income evaluation approach. In this paper we deal with methodological issues and show by means of empirical evidence the validity of the income evaluation approach. In the same time we propose some major modifications of the method. Secondly we show how the two dimensions may be combined. This is illustrated with respect to the AIDS- and the Translog- model. In this way we find how price and income variations influence measured individual welfare.
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  • van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1991. "Ordinal and cardinal utility : An integration of the two dimensions of the welfare concept," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 69-89, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:50:y:1991:i:1-2:p:69-89
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    1. Kapteyn, Arie & Wansbeek, Tom & Buyze, Jeannine, 1980. "The dynamics of preference formation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 123-157, June.
    2. Van Praag, Bernard, 1971. "The welfare function of income in Belgium: An empirical investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 337-369.
    3. Dale W. Jorgenson & Daniel T. Slesnick, 1984. "Aggregate Consumer Behaviour and the Measurement of Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 369-392.
    4. Bernard M. S. van Praag & Nico L. van der Sar, 1988. "Household Cost Functions and Equivalence Scales," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(2), pages 193-210.
    5. Apps, Patricia & Savage, Elizabeth, 1989. "Labour supply, welfare rankings and the measurement of inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 335-364, August.
    6. Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J & Stoker, Thomas M, 1980. "Welfare Comparison under Exact Aggregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 268-272, May.
    7. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    8. Van Praag, Bernard M. S. & Kapteyn, Arie, 1973. "Further evidence on the individual welfare function of income: An empirical investigatiion in The Netherlands," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 33-62, April.
    9. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-326, June.
    10. Jorgenson, Dale W. & Slesnick, Daniel T., 1990. "Inequality and the standard of living," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 103-120.
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