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Commitment in intertemporal household consumption: a revealed preference analysis

Listed author(s):
  • Jeroen Sabbe

    (K.U.Leuven Kulak)

  • Ewout Verriest

    (K.U.Leuven Kulak)

  • Bram De Rock

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles, K.U.Leuven Kulak)

  • Laurens Cherchye

    (K.U.Leuven Kulak, Universiteit van Tilburg)

We present a revealed preference methodology for analyzing intertemporal household consumption behavior. In doing so, we follow a collective approach, which explicitly recognizes that multi-member households consist of multiple decision makers with their own rational preferences. Following original work of Mazzocco (2007), we develop tests that can empirically verify whether observed consumption behavior is consistent with (varying degrees of) intrahousehold commitment. In our set-up, commitment means that households choose consumption allocations on the ex ante Pareto frontier. The distinguishing feature of our tests is that they are entirely nonparametric, i.e. their implementation does not require an a priori (typically non-veri fiable) specifi cation of the intrahousehold decision process (e.g. individual utilities). We demonstrate the practical usefulness of our methodology by means of an empirical application. For the data at hand, our results suggest using a so-called limited commitment model that allows for household-specifi c commitment patterns. Importantly, our application also shows that bringing intertemporal dynamics in the empirical analysis can substantially increase the discriminatory power of the revealed preference methodology.

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File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2011/paper_251.pdf
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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 251.

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Date of creation: 2011
Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:251
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Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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  1. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-987, December.
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  12. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2012. "Married with Children: A Collective Labor Supply Model with Detailed Time Use and Intrahousehold Expenditure Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3377-3405, December.
  13. Laurens Cherchye & Frederic Vermeulen, 2008. "Nonparametric Analysis of Household Labor Supply: Goodness of Fit and Power of the Unitary and the Collective Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 267-274, May.
  14. Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy, 1997. "A Test of the Unitary and Collective Models of Household Labour Supply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 933-955, July.
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  16. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2009. "Opening the Black Box of Intrahousehold Decision Making: Theory and Nonparametric Empirical Tests of General Collective Consumption Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(6), pages 1074-1104, December.
  17. Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the Household," Munich Reprints in Economics 3411, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  19. Richard W. Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian A. Crawford, 2003. "Nonparametric Engel Curves and Revealed Preference," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 205-240, January.
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  26. 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.
  27. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2011. "The revealed preference approach to collective consumption behavior: nonparametric testing and sharing rule recovery," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/98560, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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