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Homothetic Efficiency: Theory and Applications


  • Jan Heufer
  • Per Hjertstrand


We provide a nonparametric revealed preference approach to demand analysis based on homothetic efficiency. Homotheticity is widely assumed (often implicitly) because it is a convenient and often useful restriction. However, this assumption is rarely tested, and data rarely satisfy testable conditions. To overcome this, we provide a way to estimate homothetic efficiency of consumption choices. The method provides considerably higher discriminatory power against random behavior than the commonly used Afriat efficiency. We use experimental and household survey data to illustrate how our approach is useful for different empirical applications and can provide greater predictive success.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Heufer & Per Hjertstrand, 2019. "Homothetic Efficiency: Theory and Applications," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 235-247, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jnlbes:v:37:y:2019:i:2:p:235-247
    DOI: 10.1080/07350015.2017.1319372

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    Cited by:

    1. Heufer, Jan & Hjertstrand, Per, 2019. "Homothetic preferences revealed," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 602-614.
    2. Jan (J.P.M.) Heufer & Per Hjertstrand, 2017. "Homothetic Preferences Revealed," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-103/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Hjertstrand, Per & Swofford, James L., 2019. "Revealed preference tests of indirect and homothetic weak separability of financial assets, consumption and leisure," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 108-114.
    4. Demuynck, Thomas & Hjertstrand, Per, 2019. "Samuelson's Approach to Revealed Preference Theory: Some Recent Advances," Working Paper Series 1274, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    5. Demetry, Marcos & Hjertstrand, Per & Polisson, Matthew, 2020. "Testing Axioms of Revealed Preference in Stata," Working Paper Series 1342, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 28 Feb 2022.
    6. Jan (J.P.M.) Heufer & Jason Shachat & Yan Xu, 2018. "Measuring tastes for equity and aggregate wealth behind the veil of ignorance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-087/I, Tinbergen Institute.

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