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On the Rationalizability of Observed Consumers Choise when Prefeerences else

  • Ennio Bilancini

    ()

we prove that defining consumers' preferences over budget sets is both necessary and sufficient to make every fully informative and finite set of observed consumption choices rationalizable by a collection of preferences which are transitive, complete, and monotone with respect to own consumption. Our finding has two important theoretical consequences. First, assuming that preferences depend on budget sets is illegitimate under the scientific commitments of revealed preference theory. Second, as long as consumers' preferences are not defined over budget sets, we can assume that preferences depend on observable objects other than own consumption without compromising the logical possibility to reject the model against observation. We however point out that, despite this logical possibility, in pratice it can be almost impossible to reject a model where preferences are defined over objects that depend on budget sets.As an example of this we show that if preferences are defined over consumption choices of other individuals then rationalization fails only in cases of negligible pratical interest.

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Paper provided by University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi" in its series Department of Economics with number 0636.

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Length: pages 14
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mod:depeco:0636
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.economia.unimore.it/

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  1. Jeorge Álvarez & Ennio Bilancini & Simone D’Alessandro & Gabriel Porcile, 2010. "Agricultural Institutions, Industrialization and Growth: the Case of New Zealand and Uruguay in 1870-1940," Department of Economics 0635, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  2. Giuseppe Marotta, 1997. "Does trade credit redistribution thwart monetary policy? Evidence from Italy," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(12), pages 1619-1629.
  3. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
  4. Francoise Forges & Enrico Minelli, 2006. "Afriat’s Theorem for General Budget Sets," CESifo Working Paper Series 1703, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1987. "Diamonds Are a Government's Best Friend: Burden-Free Taxes on Goods Valued for Their Values," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 186-91, March.
  6. Marina Murat & Barbara Pistoresi, 2006. "Emigrants and immigrants networks in FDI," Department of Economics 0546, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  7. Laurens CHERCHYE & Bram DE ROCK & Frederic VERMEULEN, 2007. "The revealed preference approach to collective consumption behavior: testing, recovery and welfare analysis," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces0724, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  8. Veblen, Thorstein, 1899. "The Theory of the Leisure Class," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number veblen1899.
  9. Ed Hopkins & Tatiana Kornienko, 2004. "Running to Keep in the Same Place: Consumer Choice as a Game of Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1085-1107, September.
  10. Chambers, Christopher P. & Echenique, Federico, 2009. "Supermodularity and preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1004-1014, May.
  11. Andrés Carvajal, 2010. "The testable implications of competitive equilibrium in economies with externalities," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 349-378, October.
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