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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. 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.
  2. Donald J. Brown & Chris Shannon, 2000. "Uniqueness, Stability, and Comparative Statics in Rationalizable Walrasian Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1529-1540, November.
  3. 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.
  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. 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.
  6. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 2005. "Best nonparametric bounds on demand responses," CeMMAP working papers CWP12/05, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. 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.
  8. Ian Crawford, 2004. "Necessary and sufficient conditions for latent separability," CeMMAP working papers CWP02/04, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
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  19. Christopher Carroll, 2000. "Requiem For The Representative Consumer? Aggregate Implications Of Microeconomic Consumption Behavior," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 320, Society for Computational Economics.
  20. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 1998. "Nonparametric Engel Curves and Revealed Preference," Discussion Papers 99-07, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  21. 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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  25. 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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