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Aggregation and Other Biases in the Calculation of Consumer Elasticities for Models of Arbitrary Rank

  • Frank T. Denton
  • Dean C. Mountain
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    Consumer-related policy decisions often require analysis of aggregate responses or mean elasticities. However, in practice these mean elasticities are seldom used. Mean elasticities can be approximated using aggregate data, but that introduces aggregation bias for full and compensated price elasticities, though interestingly not for expenditure elasticities. The biases corresponding to incorrect approximations of mean elasticities depend on the type of data (micro or aggregate), the type and rank of the model, and generalized measures of income inequality. These biases are distinct from the biases (already noted in the literature) when using aggregate data to estimate micro elasticites at mean income.

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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/qsep/p/qsep447.pdf
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    Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports with number 447.

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    Length: 48 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:mcm:qseprr:447
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    1. Blundell, Richard & Meghir, Costas & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "Aggregation and consumer behaviour: some recent results," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 235-252, September.
    2. Blundell, Richard & Pashardes, Panos & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "What Do We Learn About Consumer Demand Patterns from Micro Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 570-97, June.
    3. Frank Denton & Dean Mountain, 2004. "Aggregation effects on price and expenditure elasticities in a quadratic almost ideal demand system," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(3), pages 613-628, August.
    4. Lewbel, Arthur, 1990. "Income distribution movements and aggregate money illusion," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 35-42.
    5. Slottje, Daniel, 2008. "Estimating demand systems and measuring consumer preferences," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 207-209, December.
    6. Howe, Howard & Pollak, Robert A & Wales, Terence J, 1979. "Theory and Time Series Estimation of the Quadratic Expenditure System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1231-47, September.
    7. Denton, Frank T. & Mountain, Dean C., 2001. "Income distribution and aggregation/disaggregation biases in the measurement of consumer demand elasticities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 21-28, October.
    8. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Arthur Lewbel, 1997. "Quadratic Engel Curves And Consumer Demand," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 527-539, November.
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