At the Origins of Engel Curves Estimation
This paper revisits Ernst Engel's (1857) original article in which he systematically investigated the relationship between consumption expenditure and income. While he is mainly remembered today for the discovery of Engel's law, we highlight how Engel addressed in a particular way the issue of the relation between statistical empirical analysis and economic theorizing. Inspired by an inductive methodology, Engel's method to inferempirical regularities made no a priori assumption on the estimated functional form and anticipates many aspects of current non-parametric regression methods. Furthermore, Engel devised a quasi-behavioral theory of consumption centered on the concept of wants to justify and explain his empirical results which he used to asses population living standards. Although incomplete, Engel's consumption theory tackles a much neglected issue in consumption theory: what accounts for the manner in which consumption patterns change as income rises.
|Date of creation:||May 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Deutschhausstrasse 10, 35032 Marburg|
Web page: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb19/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- J. Aitchison & J. A. C. Brown, 1954. "A Synthesis of Engel Curve Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 35-46.
- S. J. Prais, 1952. "Non-Linear Estimates of the Engel Curves," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 87-104.
- Ulrich Witt, 2006. "Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
- Sen, Amartya, 1979. "The Welfare Basis of Real Income Comparisons: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 1-45, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2008-02. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christoph Mengs)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.