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Modeling Household Behavior in a CGE Model: Linear Expenditure System or Indirect Addilog?


  • Paul de Boer


We try to argue that in a computable general equilibrium model, household preferences should be modeled by the indirect addilog system (IAS), exhibiting constant differences of elasticity of substitution (CDES), rather than by the frequently used linear expenditure system (LES). Both systems have the same data requirement and are as easy to implement, but IAS provides for a richer description of preferences. Contrarily to LES, its Engel curves are non-linear and it allows for inferior commodities, elastic demand and gross substitution. LES assigns zero utility to households with expenditure below a positive minimum value, whereas IAS assigns a positive utility, provided zero expenditure is replaced by a small positive number. In micro simulation models where the results of a macro CGE model (with one representative household) are used at micro level, this constitutes a clear advantage of IAS. In the framework of an expenditure survey, we find overwhelming statistical evidence that the IAS indirect utility function is likely to be (much) closer to the true indirect utility function than LES. Consequently, expenditure elasticities and welfare changes are likely to be (much) better estimated by IAS. Simulations with a CGE model for Palestine show that price responses and equivalent variation are considerably higher for IAS than for LES.

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  • Paul de Boer, 2010. "Modeling Household Behavior in a CGE Model: Linear Expenditure System or Indirect Addilog?," DEGIT Conference Papers c015_059, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  • Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c015_059

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marco Missaglia & Paul de Boer, 2004. "Food-For-Work versus Cash-For-Work: Emergency Assistance in Palestine," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 367-390.
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    5. Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-333, March.
    6. Paul de Boer & Richard Paap, 2009. "Testing non-nested demand relations: linear expenditure system versus indirect addilog," Statistica Neerlandica, Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 63(3), pages 368-384.
    7. F. J. H. Don & J. P. Verbruggen, 2006. "Models and methods for economic policy: 60 years of evolution at CPB," Statistica Neerlandica, Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 60(2), pages 145-170.
    8. Jeffrey Reimer & Thomas Hertel, 2004. "Estimation of International Demand Behaviour for Use with Input-Output Based Data," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 347-366.
    9. Paul de Boer & Marco Missaglia, 2006. "Economic consequences of intifada," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 97-106.
    10. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, March.
    11. Murty, K N, 1982. "Theoretical Restrictions on the Parameters of Indirect Addilog Demand Equations-A Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 225-227, January.
    12. Hanoch, Giora, 1975. "Production and Demand Models with Direct or Indirect Implicit Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(3), pages 395-419, May.
    13. Heij, Christiaan & de Boer, Paul & Franses, Philip Hans & Kloek, Teun & van Dijk, Herman K., 2004. "Econometric Methods with Applications in Business and Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199268016, June.
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    1. Faíña, Andrés & López-Rodríguez, Jesús & Varela-Candamio, Laura, 2013. "Reinterpreting the Frisch parameter in the field of personal taxation: A link between taxable capacity and social marginal utility in Optimal Taxation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 81-83.

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