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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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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. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 2008. "Best Nonparametric Bounds on Demand Responses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1227-1262, November.
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  8. Cherchye, Laurens & Crawford, Ian & De Rock, Bram & Vermeulen, Frederic, 2011. "Aggregation without the Aggravation? Nonparametric Analysis of the Representative Consumer," IZA Discussion Papers 6266, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 2010. "Testable implications of transferable utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 1302-1317, May.
  10. Hurwicz, Leonid, 1995. "What is the Coase Theorem?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 49-74, May.
  11. Selten, Reinhard, 1991. "Properties of a measure of predictive success," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 153-167, April.
  12. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2007. "The Collective Model of Household Consumption: A nonparametric characterization," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/98559, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. Laurens CHERCHYE & Thomas DEMUYNCK & Bram DE ROCK, 2011. "Is utility transferable? A revealed preference analysis," Working Papers Department of Economics ces11.02, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  14. 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.
  15. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. W. E. Diewert, 1973. "Afriat and Revealed Preference Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(3), pages 419-425.
  18. Laurens CHERCHYE & Thomas DEMUYNCK & Bram DE ROCK, 2009. "Testable implications of general equilibrium models: an integer programming approach," Working Papers Department of Economics ces09.14, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  19. 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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  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
  26. Varian, Hal R., 1985. "Non-parametric analysis of optimizing behavior with measurement error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 445-458.
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