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Revealed Preference Tests of Utility Maximization and Weak Separability of Consumption, Leisure and Money with Incomplete Adjustment

  • Hjertstrand, Per

    ()

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • L. Swofford, James

    (Department of Economics and Finance)

  • Whitney, Gerald A.

    (Department of Economics and Finance)

Swofford and Whitney (1987) investigated the validity of two types of assumptions that underlie the representative agent models of modern macroeconomics and monetary economics. These assumptions are utility maximization and weak or functional separability that is required for an economic aggregate to exist. To reinvestigate the structure of the representative consumer’s preferences we develop a mixed integer programming revealed preference test with incomplete adjustment. We find that both a narrow official US monetary aggregate, M1, and a broad collection of assets are weakly separable. We further find that a modern analog of money as suggested by Friedman and Schwartz (1963) is also weakly separable. We also find that consumption goods and leisure are separable from all monetary goods. We find no evidence that official US M2 or MZERO are consistent with utility maximization and weak separability. That is, the assets in these measures do not meet the requirement for forming an aggregate over goods that is consistent with economic theory. Finally, we find that three broad categories of consumption goods, durables, nondurables and services, do not meet the weak separability conditions required for forming a consumption aggregate. However, a consumption aggregate of nondurables and services is weakly separable.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 971.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 02 Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0971
Contact details of provider: Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
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  1. William A. Barnett & Marcelle Chauvet, 2010. "How Better Monetary Statistics Could Have Signaled the Financial Crisis," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 201005, University of Kansas, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2010.
  2. Barnett, William A & Offenbacher, Edward K & Spindt, Paul A, 1984. "The New Divisia Monetary Aggregates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1049-85, December.
  3. Timothy K. M. Beatty & Ian A. Crawford, 2011. "How Demanding Is the Revealed Preference Approach to Demand?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2782-95, October.
  4. Laurens CHERCHYE & Thomas DEMUYNCK & Bram DE ROCK, 2011. "Revealed preference tests for weak separability: an integer programming approach," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces11.25, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  5. Swofford, James L & Whitney, Gerald A, 1987. "Nonparametric Tests of Utility Maximization and Weak Separability for Consumption, Leisure and Money," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(3), pages 458-64, August.
  6. Barnett, William A., 1980. "Economic monetary aggregates an application of index number and aggregation theory," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 11-48, September.
  7. Jones, Barry E. & Dutkowsky, Donald H. & Elger, Thomas, 2005. "Sweep programs and optimal monetary aggregation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 483-508, February.
  8. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie63-1, November.
  9. Fleissig, Adrian R & Whitney, Gerald A, 2003. "A New PC-Based Test for Varian's Weak Separability Conditions," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(1), pages 133-44, January.
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