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

  • Paul de Boer
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    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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    File URL: http://degit.sam.sdu.dk/papers/degit_15/c015_059.pdf
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    Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c015_059.

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    Length: 25 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c015_059
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    1. Henk Don & Johan Verbruggen, 2006. "Models and methods for economic policy; 60 years of evolution at CPB," CPB Discussion Paper 55, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    2. Hanoch, Giora, 1975. "Production and Demand Models with Direct or Indirect Implicit Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(3), pages 395-419, May.
    3. Arjan Lejour & Paul Veenendaal & Gerard Verweij & Nico van Leeuwen, 2006. "Worldscan; a model for international economic policy analysis," CPB Document 111, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    4. de Boer, P.M.C. & Paap, R., 2009. "Testing Non-nested Demand Relations: Linear Expenditure System versus Indirect Addilog," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2009-07, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
    5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521296762 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. MISSAGLIA Marco & DE BOER Paul, . "Food-For-Work versus Cash-For-Work: Emergency Assistance in Palestine," EcoMod2003 330700104, EcoMod.
    7. Somermeyer, W. H. & Langhout, A., 1972. "Shapes of Engel curves and demand curves: Implications of the expenditure allocation model, applied to Dutch data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 351-386, November.
    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. Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-33, March.
    10. de Boer, P.M.C. & Missaglia, M., 2005. "Economic consequences of intifada," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2005-21, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
    11. John Cranfield & Paul Preckel & James Eales & Thomas Hertel, 2000. "On the estimation of 'an implicitly additive demand system'," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(15), pages 1907-1915.
    12. Murty, K N, 1982. "Theoretical Restrictions on the Parameters of Indirect Addilog Demand Equations-A Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 225-27, January.
    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, March.
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