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A Study of Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data

  • Philippe Fevrier

    (CREST - LEI)

  • Michael Visser

    (CREST-LEI)

This paper reports the results of an experiment on individual consumer behavior. The experiment was designed to address the following questions. Do participants behave as utility-maximizing agents? Are there variables (socio-economic characteristics, experimental conditions) that have an effect on the probability of being non-rational? And finally, to what extent does the presence of non-rational individuals affect the estimation results of demand equations? Revealed preference tests indicate that 29% of the individuals do not behave as utility-maximizing agents. Gender and the times spent on performing experimental tasks have a significant effect on the likelihood of being non-rational, but the level of remuneration does not. The estimation results of some commonly used demand systems and tests of the Slutsky restrictions are affected by the presence of non-rational individuals in the experimental sample.

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 1095.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1095
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  1. Sippel, Reinhard, 1997. "An Experiment on the Pure Theory of Consumer's Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1431-44, September.
  2. John Kagel & Leonard Green & Raymond Battalio, 1995. "Economic choice theory. an experimental analysis of animal behavior," Framed Field Experiments 00166, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Philippe Février & Michael Visser, 2004. "A Study of Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 93-114, February.
  4. Cox, James C, 1997. "On Testing the Utility Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1054-78, July.
  5. Battalio, Raymond C & Dwyer, Gerald P, Jr & Kagel, John H, 1987. "Tests of Competing Theories of Consumer Choice and the Representative Consumer Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388), pages 842-56, December.
  6. Varian, Hal R, 1983. "Non-Parametric Tests of Consumer Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 99-110, January.
  7. Blundell, Richard & Pashardes, Panos & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "What Do We Learn About Consumer Demand Patterns from Micro Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 570-97, June.
  8. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
  9. Varian, Hal R., 1988. "Revealed preference with a subset of goods," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 179-185, October.
  10. Reinhard Sippel, 1996. "A Note on the Power of Revealed Preference Tests with Afriat Inefficiency," Discussion Paper Serie A 303 DP No. A--528, University of Bonn, Germany.
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