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Goods Versus Characteristics: Revealed Preference Procedures for Nested Models

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  • Matthew Polisson

Abstract

This paper compares the goods and characteristics models of the consumer within a traditional demand framework. We examine the nonparametric revealed preference conditions for the goods and characteristics models, and we develop a methodology for testing nested models of this class using nonparametric revealed preference techniques. Of primary interest is to make a comparison on the basis of predictive success, which requires that we develop a method to relate set predictions across models. This allows us to nonparametrically identify the model which best fits the data, and in doing so, to identify the value added by the characteristics structure in explaining consumer behavior. We then explore the effects of hypothetical price variation as implied by our findings in order to nonparametrically bound any comparative statics of interest. We implement these procedures on household panel data from the UK milk market. The primary result is that the better fit of the characteristics model is entirely attributable to dimension reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Polisson, 2011. "Goods Versus Characteristics: Revealed Preference Procedures for Nested Models," Economics Series Working Papers 531, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:531
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper531.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Laura Blow & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 2008. "Revealed Preference Analysis of Characteristics Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 371-389.
    2. A. Fostel & H. Scarf & M. Todd, 2004. "Two new proofs of Afriat’s theorem," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 24(1), pages 211-219, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Matthew Polisson & John K.-H. Quah, 2013. "Revealed Preference in a Discrete Consumption Space," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 28-34, February.
    5. 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.
    6. Andrew Leicester & Zoë Oldfield, 2009. "Using Scanner Technology to Collect Expenditure Data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 30(Special I), pages 309-337, December.
    7. 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.
    8. W. E. Diewert, 1973. "Afriat and Revealed Preference Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(3), pages 419-425.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Characteristics; demand; dimension reduction; nested models; revealed preference;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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