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Nonparametric Engel Curves and Revealed Preference

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  • Richard Blundell

    (Department of Economics, University College London)

  • Martin Browning

    (Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Ian Crawford

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

This paper applies revealed preference theory to the nonparametric statistical analysis of consumer demand. Knowledge of expansion paths is shown to improve the power of nonparametric tests of revealed preference. The tightest bounds on indifference surfaces and welfare measures are derived using an algorithm for which revealed preference conditions are shown to guarantee convergence. Nonparametric Engel curves are used to estimate expansion paths and provide a stochastic structure within which to examine the consistency of household level data and revealed preference theory. An application is made to a long time series of repeated cross-sections from the Family Expenditure Survey for Britain. The consistency of these data wit revealed preference theory is examined. For periods of consistency with revealed preference, tight bounds are placed on true cost of living indices.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 2002. "Nonparametric Engel Curves and Revealed Preference," CAM Working Papers 2002-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieca:2002_04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    consumer demands; nonparametric regression; revealed preference;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation

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