IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Confidence Intervals for Estimates of Elasticities

  • J. G. Hirschberg, J. N. Lye
  • D. J. Slottje

Elasticities are often estimated from the results of demand analysis however, drawing inferences from them may involve assumptions that could influence the outcome. In this paper we investigate one of the most common forms of elasticity which is defined as a ratio of estimated relationships and demonstrate how the Fieller method for the construction of confidence intervals can be used to draw inferences. We estimate the elasticities of expenditure from Engel curves using a variety of estimation models. Parametric Engel curves are modelled using OLS, MM robust regression, and Tobit. Semiparametric Engel curves are estimated using a penalized spline regression. We demonstrate the construction of confidence intervals of the expenditure elasticities for a series of expenditure levels as well as the estimated cumulative density function for the elasticity evaluated for a particular household.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found ( [301 Moved Permanently]--> If this is indeed the case, please notify (Katherine Perez)

Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 1053.

in new window

Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1053
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 5355
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Krinsky, Itzhak & Robb, A Leslie, 1991. "Three Methods for Calculating the Statistical Properties of Elasticities: A Comparison," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 199-209.
  2. Melenberg, B. & van Soest, A.H.O., 1996. "Parametric and semi-parametric modelling of vacation expenditures," Other publications TiSEM 14de3e83-71c1-4e9a-aa5e-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  3. Davidson, R. & Mackinnon, J.G., 1997. "Bootstrap Testing in Nonlinear Models," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 97a39, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  4. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731.
  5. Jean-Thomas Bernard & Nadhem Idoudi & Lynda Khalaf & Clément Yélou, 2007. "Finite sample inference methods for dynamic energy demand models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 1211-1226.
  6. Daniel Polsky & Henry A. Glick & Richard Willke & Kevin Schulman, 1997. "Confidence Intervals for Cost-Effectiveness Ratios: A Comparison of Four Methods," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(3), pages 243-252.
  7. Thomas F. Crossley & Paul Grootendorst & Sule Kokkmaz & Michael R. Veall, 2000. "The Effects of Drug Subsidies on Out-of-Poket Prescription Drug Expenditures by seniors: regional Evidence from Canada," CEPR Discussion Papers 422, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  8. McDonald, John F & Moffitt, Robert A, 1980. "The Uses of Tobit Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(2), pages 318-21, May.
  9. Sonia Bhalotra & Cliff Attfield, 1998. "Intrahousehold resource allocation in rural Pakistan: a semiparametric analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 463-480.
  10. Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-44, September.
  11. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Krishna Pendakur, 1998. "Semiparametric estimation and consumer demand," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 435-461.
  12. Deaton, Angus & Irish, Margaret, 1984. "Statistical models for zero expenditures in household budgets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 59-80.
  13. Jiazhong You, 2003. "Robust estimation of models of Engel curves," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 61-73, January.
  14. Ruppert,David & Wand,M. P. & Carroll,R. J., 2003. "Semiparametric Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521785167.
  15. Ping Zhang & Arthur van Soest & Xiaodong Gong, 2005. "The effects of the gender of children on expenditure patterns in rural China: a semiparametric analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 509-527.
  16. Krinsky, Itzhak & Robb, A Leslie, 1986. "On Approximating the Statistical Properties of Elasticities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 715-19, November.
  17. Timothy Beatty, 2009. "Semiparametric quantile Engel curves and expenditure elasticities: a penalized quantile regression spline approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(12), pages 1533-1542.
  18. Kling, Catherine L. & Dorfman, Jeffrey & Sexton, Richard, 1990. "Confidence Intervals for Elasticities and Flexibilities: Re-Evaluating the Ratios of Normals Case," Staff General Research Papers 1582, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  19. Joseph G. Hirschberg & Jenny N. Lye, 2004. "Inferences for the Extremum of Quadratic Regression Models," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 906, The University of Melbourne.
  20. J.G. Hirschberg & J. N. Lye, 2007. "Providing Intuition to the Fieller Method with Two Geometric Representations using STATA and Eviews," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 992, The University of Melbourne.
  21. Barnett, William A, 1983. "New Indices of Money Supply and the Flexible Laurent Demand System," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 1(1), pages 7-23, January.
  22. Ruppert,David & Wand,M. P. & Carroll,R. J., 2003. "Semiparametric Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521780506.
  23. Tansel, AysIt & Bircan, Fatma, 2006. "Demand for education in Turkey: A tobit analysis of private tutoring expenditures," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 303-313, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1053. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Katherine Perez)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.