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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. 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.
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  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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