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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. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 1997. "Non-parametric Engel curves and revealed preferences," IFS Working Papers W97/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. 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.
  3. R. Blundell & Jean-Marc Robin, 2000. "Latent separability: grouping goods without weak separability," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/f0uohitsgqh, Sciences Po.
  4. 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.
  5. Francois Gourio, 2009. "Disaster risk and business cycles," 2009 Meeting Papers 1176, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2007. "The Collective Model of Household Consumption: A nonparametric characterization," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/98559, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Donald Brown & Caterina Calsamiglia, 2007. "The Nonparametric Approach to Applied Welfare Analysis," Economic Theory, Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(1), pages 183-188, April.
  11. 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.
  12. Adrien Verdelhan & Francois Gourio, 2010. "International Disaster Risk, Business Cycles, and Exchange Rates," 2010 Meeting Papers 435, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. 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.
  14. repec:inr:wpaper:156158 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  19. 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.
  20. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, May.
  21. 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.
  22. Robert A. Pollak, 1971. "Additive Utility Functions and Linear Engel Curves," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(4), pages 401-414.
  23. repec:inr:wpaper:249984 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. 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.
  25. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Hal R. Varian, 1983. "Non-parametric Tests of Consumer Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 99-110.
  29. 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.
  30. W. E. Diewert, 1973. "Afriat and Revealed Preference Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(3), pages 419-425.
  31. John Muellbauer, 1975. "Aggregation, Income Distribution and Consumer Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(4), pages 525-543.
  32. Michael Jerison, 1994. "Optimal Income Distribution Rules and Representative Consumers," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 739-771.
  33. 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.
  34. Muellbauer, John, 1976. "Community Preferences and the Representative Consumer," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(5), pages 979-99, September.
  35. 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.
  36. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
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