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Aggregation without the Aggravation? Nonparametric Analysis of the Representative Consumer

Author

Listed:
  • Cherchye, Laurens

    () (KU Leuven)

  • Crawford, Ian

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)

  • De Rock, Bram

    () (ECARES, Free University of Brussels)

  • Vermeulen, Frederic

    () (KU Leuven)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Cherchye, Laurens & Crawford, Ian & De Rock, Bram & Vermeulen, Frederic, 2011. "Aggregation without the Aggravation? Nonparametric Analysis of the Representative Consumer," IZA Discussion Papers 6266, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6266
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cherchye, Laurens & Demuynck, Thomas & De Rock, Bram, 2015. "Is utility transferable? a revealed preference analysis," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(1), January.
    2. repec:wly:econjl:v:126:y:2016:i:598:p:2424-2445 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Christos Koulovatianos & Carsten Schröder & Ulrich Schmidt, 2010. "Confronting the Representative Consumer with Household-Size Heterogeneity," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1056, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Koulovatianos, Christos & Schröder, Carsten & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2014. "Do demographics prevent consumer aggregates from reflecting micro-level preferences?," CFS Working Paper Series 484, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    5. Kannai, Yakar & Selden, Larry & Wei, Xiao, 2014. "Myopic separability," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 125-144.
    6. Maria Porter & Abi Adams, 2016. "For Love or Reward? Characterising Preferences for Giving to Parents in an Experimental Setting," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(598), pages 2424-2445, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    revealed preference; aggregation; Gorman polar form; GARP;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General

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