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Aggregation without the Aggravation? Nonparametric Analysis of the Representative Consumer

  • Cherchye, Laurens

    ()

    (KU Leuven)

  • Crawford, Ian

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)

  • De Rock, Bram

    ()

    (ECARES, Free University of Brussels)

  • Vermeulen, Frederic

    ()

    (KU 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 auxilliary 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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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6266.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6266
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  1. Diewert, W E, 1973. "Afriat and Revealed Preference Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 419-25, July.
  2. Fleissig, Adrian R. & Whitney, Gerald A., 2008. "A nonparametric test of weak separability and consumer preferences," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 275-281, December.
  3. 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.
  4. R. Blundell & Jean-Marc Robin, 2000. "Latent separability: grouping goods without weak separability," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/f0uohitsgqh, Sciences Po.
  5. Pollak, Robert A, 1971. "Additive Utility Functions and Linear Engel Curves," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(116), pages 401-14, October.
  6. 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.
  7. Adrien Verdelhan & Francois Gourio, 2010. "International Disaster Risk, Business Cycles, and Exchange Rates," 2010 Meeting Papers 435, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Muellbauer, John, 1975. "Aggregation, Income Distribution and Consumer Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 525-43, October.
  9. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 1997. "Non-parametric Engel curves and revealed preferences," IFS Working Papers W97/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
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  13. Cherchye, L.J.H. & de Rock, B. & Vermeulen, F.M.P., 2007. "The collective model of household consumption : A nonparametric characterization," Other publications TiSEM 0a104373-4fb6-4ef2-9d2b-2, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  14. 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.
  15. Jerison, Michael, 1994. "Optimal Income Distribution Rules and Representative Consumers," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 739-71, October.
  16. 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.
  17. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Working Papers 99-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  18. Francois Gourio, 2009. "Disaster risk and business cycles," 2009 Meeting Papers 1176, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  20. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  21. Alan P. Kirman, 1992. "Whom or What Does the Representative Individual Represent?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
  22. Cherchye, L.J.H. & de Rock, B. & Vermeulen, F.M.P., 2011. "The revealed preference approach to collective consumption behavior : Testing and sharing rule recovery," Other publications TiSEM 11c788ab-cf82-4759-a6a8-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  23. Donald J. Brown & Chris Shannon, 1998. "Uniqueness, Stability, and Comparative Statics in Rationalizable Walrasian Markets," GE, Growth, Math methods 9802003, EconWPA, revised 02 Mar 1998.
  24. Dow, James & Werlang, Sérgio Ribeiro da Costa, 1986. "The consistency of welfare judgements with a representative consumer," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 87, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  25. Muellbauer, John, 1976. "Community Preferences and the Representative Consumer," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(5), pages 979-99, September.
  26. Donald Brown & Caterina Calsamiglia, 2007. "The Nonparametric Approach to Applied Welfare Analysis," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 183-188, April.
  27. Ian Crawford, 2006. "Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Latent Separability," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0706, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  28. 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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  30. 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.
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  32. 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.
  33. Varian, Hal R, 1983. "Non-Parametric Tests of Consumer Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 99-110, January.
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  38. 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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