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Aggregation without the aggravation? Nonparametric analysis of the representative consumer

  • Laurens Cherchye

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Leuven)

  • Ian Crawford

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Oxford)

  • Bram De Rock

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and ECARES)

  • Frederic Vermeulen

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Leuven)

In the tradition of Afriat (1967), Diewert (1973) and Varian (1982), we provide a revealed preference characterisation of the representative consumer. Our results are simple and complement those of Gorman (1953, 1961), Samuelson (1956) and others. They can also be applied to data very readily and without the need for auxiliary parametric or statistical assumptions. We investigate the application of our characterisation by means of a balanced microdata panel survey. Our findings provide robust evidence against the existence of a representative consumer for our data.

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File URL: http://cemmap.ifs.org.uk/wps/cwp031212.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series CeMMAP working papers with number CWP03/12.

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Date of creation: 25 Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:03/12
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  1. Swofford, James L. & Whitney, Gerald A., 1994. "A revealed preference test for weakly separable utility maximization with incomplete adjustment," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 235-249.
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  3. Dow, James & da Costa Werlang, Sergio Ribeiro, 1988. "The consistency of welfare judgments with a representative consumer," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 269-280, April.
  4. Donald J. Brown & Chris Shannon, 1998. "Uniqueness, Stability, and Comparative Statics in Rationalizable Walrasian Markets," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1170, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  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.
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  8. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 2002. "Nonparametric Engel Curves and Revealed Preference," CAM Working Papers 2002-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  9. 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.
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  12. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  13. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  14. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, December.
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  19. Hal R. Varian, 1983. "Non-parametric Tests of Consumer Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 99-110.
  20. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Quantitative Macroeconomics with Heterogeneous Households," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 319-354, 05.
  21. François Gourio, 2009. "Disasters Risk and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 15399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. 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.
  23. Donald J. Brown & Caterina Calsamiglia, 2005. "The Nonparametric Approach to Applied Welfare Analysis," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1507, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  24. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  25. Blackorby, Charles & Boyce, Richard & Russell, R Robert, 1978. "Estimation of Demand Systems Generated by the Gorman Polar Form: A Generalization of the S-Branch Utility Tree," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 345-63, March.
  26. W. E. Diewert, 1973. "Afriat and Revealed Preference Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(3), pages 419-425.
  27. Christopher D. Carroll, 2000. "Requiem for the Representative Consumer? Aggregate Implications of Microeconomic Consumption Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 110-115, May.
  28. 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.
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  32. Ian Crawford & J. Peter Neary, 2008. "Testing for a Reference Consumer in International Comparisons of Living Standards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1731-32, September.
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