Testable implications of transferable utility
Although the Transferable Utility (TU) assumption is widely used in micro theory, little is known about its testable consequences, and in particular how one can, from the observation of a group's demand, test whether the TU assumption is satisfied within this group. We derive a set of necessary and sufficient conditions on demand that characterize the TU context. The conditions are of two types. First, TU requires the group to behave as a single decision maker. Secondly, within the unitary setting, the representative utility generated by a TU framework must be of the Generalized Quasi-Linear (GQL) form. We derive testable properties of the demand function that fully characterize GQL utilities. These additional restrictions only involve specific prices - namely, those of the goods that are publicly consumed within the group.
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