A Theory of Random Consumer Demand
This paper presents a new theory of random consumer demand. The primitive is a collection of probability distributions, rather than a binary preference. Various assumptions constrain these distributions, including analogues of common assumptions about preferences such as transitivity, monotonicity and convexity. Two results establish a complete representation of theoretically consistent random demand. The purpose of this theory of random consumer demand is application to empirical consumer demand problems. To this end, the theory has several desirable properties. It is intrinsically stochastic, so the econometrician can apply it directly without adding extrinsic randomness in the form of residuals. Random demand is parsimoniously represented by a single function on the consumption set. Finally, we have a practical method for statistical inference based on the theory, described in McCausland (2004), a companion paper.
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