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A Unified Approach to Revealed Preference Theory: The Case of Rational Choice

  • John Quah
  • Hiroki Nishimura
  • Efe A. Ok

The theoretical literature on (non-random) choice largely follows the route of Richter (1966) by working in abstract environments and by stipulating that we see all choices of an agent from a given feasible set.� On the other hand, empirical work on consumption choice using revealed preference analysis is done following the approach of Afriat (1967), which assumes that we observe only one (and not necessarily all) of the potential choices of an agent.� These two approaches are structurally different and they are treated in the literature in isolation from each other.� This paper introduces a framework in which both approaches can be formulated in tandem.� We prove a rationalizability theorem in this framework that simultaneously generalizes the fundamental results of Afriat and Richter, along with many of their variants. � �

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 686.

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Date of creation: 06 Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:686
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  1. A. Fostel & H. Scarf & M. Todd, 2004. "Two new proofs of Afriat’s theorem," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 211-219, 07.
  2. Francoise Forges & Enrico Minelli, 2006. "Afriat’s Theorem for General Budget Sets," CESifo Working Paper Series 1703, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Evren, Özgür & Ok, Efe A., 2011. "On the multi-utility representation of preference relations," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 554-563.
  4. Chavas, Jean-Paul & Cox, Thomas L, 1993. "On Generalized Revealed Preference Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 493-506, May.
  5. Geoffroy de Clippel & Kareen Rozen, 2012. "Bounded Rationality and Limited Datasets," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1853, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised May 2014.
  6. Matzkin, Rosa L, 1991. "Axioms of Revealed Preference for Nonlinear Choice Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1779-86, November.
  7. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 1998. "Nonparametric Engel Curves and Revealed Preference," Discussion Papers 99-07, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  8. Matthew Polisson & John Quah, 2012. "Revealed preference in a discrete consumption space," IFS Working Papers W12/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
  10. Diewert, W E, 1973. "Afriat and Revealed Preference Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 419-25, July.
  11. Mas-Colell, Andreu, 1978. "On Revealed Preference Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 121-31, February.
  12. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
  13. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, March.
  14. Sondermann, Dieter, 1982. "Revealed Preference: An Elementary Treatment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 777-79, May.
  15. Ok, E.A. & Zhou, L., 1996. "Revealed Group Preferences on Non-Convex Choice Problems," Working Papers 96-39, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  16. Frederic Vermeulen, 2012. "Foundations of Revealed Preference: Introduction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 287-294, 05.
  17. Sam COSAERT & Thomas DEMUYNCK, 2013. "Revealed preference theory for finite choice sets," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces13.08, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
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