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Revealed Preference Analysis of Characteristics Models

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  • Martin Browning
  • Laura Blow

Abstract

Characteristics models have been found to be useful in many areas of economics. However, their empirical implementation tends to rely heavily on functional form assumptions. In this paper we develop a revealed preference approach to characteristics models. We derive the necessary and sufficient empirical conditions under which data on the market behaviour of heterogeneous, price-taking consumers are nonparametrically consistent with the consumer characteristics model. Where these conditions hold, we show how information may be recovered on individual consumer`s marginal valuations of product attributes. In some cases marginal valuations are point identified and in other cases we can only recover bounds. Where the conditions fail we highlight the role which the introduction of unobserved product attributes can play in rationalising the data. We implement these ideas using consumer panel data on the Danish milk market.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Browning & Laura Blow, 2006. "Revealed Preference Analysis of Characteristics Models," Economics Series Working Papers 282, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:282
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ian Crawford & Bram De Rock, 2014. "Empirical Revealed Preference," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 503-524, August.
    2. Laura Andersen & Sinne Smed, 2013. "What is it consumers really want, and how can their preferences be influenced? The case of fat in milk," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 323-347, August.
    3. Dietrich, Franz & List, Christian, 2016. "Reason-Based Choice And Context-Dependence: An Explanatory Framework," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(02), pages 175-229, July.
    4. Subir Bose & Matthew Polisson & Ludovic Renou, 2012. "Ambiguity Revealed," Discussion Papers in Economics 12/07, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    5. repec:hal:journl:halshs-01249514 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Rachel Griffith & Lars Nesheim, 2008. "Household willingness to pay for organic products," CeMMAP working papers CWP18/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    7. Cherchye, Laurens & De Rock, Bram & Sabbe, Jeroen & Vermeulen, Frederic, 2008. "Nonparametric tests of collectively rational consumption behavior: An integer programming procedure," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 258-265, December.
    8. Cherchye, Laurens & De Rock, Bram & Demuynck, Thomas, 0. "Transitivity of preferences: when does it matter?," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society.
    9. Matthew Polisson, 2011. "Goods Versus Characteristics: Dimension Reduction and Revealed Preference," Discussion Papers in Economics 11/44, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Dec 2011.
    10. Timothy K. M. Beatty & Ian A. Crawford, 2011. "How Demanding Is the Revealed Preference Approach to Demand?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2782-2795, October.
    11. Deb, Rahul & Gazzale, Robert S. & Kotchen, Matthew J., 2014. "Testing motives for charitable giving: A revealed-preference methodology with experimental evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 181-192.
    12. Walter Briec & Kristiaan Kerstens & Ignace Van de Woestyne, 2016. "Congestion in production correspondences," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 119(1), pages 65-90, September.
    13. Sam Cosaert & Thomas Demuynck, 2015. "Revealed preference theory for finite choice sets," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 59(1), pages 169-200, May.
    14. Matthew Polisson, 2011. "Goods Versus Characteristics: Revealed Preference Procedures for Nested Models," Economics Series Working Papers 531, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    15. Degan, Arianna & Merlo, Antonio, 2009. "Do voters vote ideologically?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 1868-1894, September.
    16. Fabrice Talla Nobibon & Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Jeroen Sabbe & Frits Spieksma, 2011. "Heuristics for Deciding Collectively Rational Consumption Behavior," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 38(2), pages 173-204, August.
    17. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2007. "Do Voters Vote Ideologically?, Third Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-034, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Aug 2008.
    18. Dietrich, Franz & List, Christian, 2016. "Reason-Based Choice And Context-Dependence: An Explanatory Framework," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(02), pages 175-229, July.
    19. Rachel Griffith & Lars Nesheim, 2010. "Estimating households' willingness to pay," CeMMAP working papers CWP24/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    20. Griffith, Rachel & Nesheim, Lars, 2013. "Hedonic methods for baskets of goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 284-287.
    21. Carvajal, Andres & Polemarchakis, H.M., 2008. "Identification of Pareto-improving policies: Information as the real invisible hand," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 167-179, January.
    22. Herrmann, Roland & Schröck, Rebecca, 2011. "Determinanten des Innovationserfolgs: eine Analyse mit Scannerdaten für den deutschen Joghurtmarkt," Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, vol. 60(3).
    23. Teuber, Ramona, 2010. "Estimating the Demand for Sensory Quality – Theoretical Considerations and an Empirical Application to Specialty Coffee," Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, vol. 59(3).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Product Characteristics; Revealed Preference;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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