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Is utility transferable? A revealed preference analysis

  • Laurens CHERCHYE
  • Thomas DEMUYNCK
  • Bram DE ROCK

We provide a revealed preference analysis of the transferable utility hypothesis, which is widely used in economic models. First, we establish revealed preference conditions that must be satisfied for observed group behavior to be consistent with Pareto efficiency under transferable utility. Next, we show that these conditions are easily testable by means of integer programming methods. The tests are entirely nonparametric, which makes them robust with respect to specification errors. Finally, we demonstrate the practical usefulness of our conditions by means of an application to Spanish consumption data. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first empirical test of the transferable utility hypothesis.

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File URL: http://feb.kuleuven.be/drc/Economics/research/old-dps-papers/Dps11/Dps1102.pdf
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Paper provided by KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers Department of Economics with number ces11.02.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces11.02
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://feb.kuleuven.be/Economics/

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  1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Cherchye, Laurens & Demuynck, Thomas & De Rock, Bram, 2011. "Testable implications of general equilibrium models: An integer programming approach," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 564-575.
  3. Cherchye, Laurens & Demuynck, Thomas & De Rock, Bram, 2015. "Is utility transferable? a revealed preference analysis," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(1), January.
  4. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2007. "The Collective Model of Household Consumption: A Nonparametric Characterization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 553-574, 03.
  5. Donald Brown & Caterina Calsamiglia, 2007. "The Nonparametric Approach to Applied Welfare Analysis," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(1), pages 183-188, April.
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  7. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2011. "The Revealed Preference Approach to Collective Consumption Behaviour: Testing and Sharing Rule Recovery," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 176-198.
  8. Cherchye, L.J.H. & Crawford, I. & de Rock, B. & Vermeulen, F.M.P., 2011. "Aggregation without the Aggravation? Nonparametric Analysis of the Representative Consumer," Discussion Paper 2011-143, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  9. Martin Browning & M. Dolores Collado, 2001. "The Response of Expenditures to Anticipated Income Changes: Panel Data Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 681-692, June.
  10. Laurens Cherchye & Thomas Demuynck & Bram De Rock, 2011. "Revealed preference analysis of noncooperative household consumption," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/131709, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  11. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2011. "The revealed preference approach to collective consumption behavior: nonparametric testing and sharing rule recovery," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/98560, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  13. Selten,Reinhard, . "Properties of a measure of predictive succes," Discussion Paper Serie B 130, University of Bonn, Germany.
  14. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 2005. "Best Nonparametric Bounds on Demand Responses," CAM Working Papers 2005-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  15. Bergstrom, Theodore C, 1989. "A Fresh Look at the Rotten Kid Theorem--and Other Household Mysteries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1138-59, October.
  16. Bergstrom, Theodore C. & Cornes, Richard C., 1981. "Gorman and Musgrave are dual : An Antipodean theorem on public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 371-378.
  17. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
  18. Hurwicz, Leonid, 1995. "What is the Coase Theorem?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 49-74, May.
  19. Bergstrom, Theodore C. & Varian, Hal R., 1985. "When do market games have transferable utility?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 222-233, August.
  20. Varian, Hal R., 1988. "Revealed preference with a subset of goods," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 179-185, October.
  21. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 2010. "Testable implications of transferable utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 1302-1317, May.
  22. W. E. Diewert, 1973. "Afriat and Revealed Preference Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(3), pages 419-425.
  23. Ian Crawford, 2010. "Habits Revealed," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1382-1402.
  24. Varian, Hal R., 1985. "Non-parametric analysis of optimizing behavior with measurement error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 445-458.
  25. Tim Beatty & Ian Crawford, 2010. "How demanding is the revealed preference approach to demand," CeMMAP working papers CWP17/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  26. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Cornes, Richard C, 1983. "Independence of Allocative Efficiency from Distribution in the Theory of Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1753-65, November.
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