A Geometric Measure for the Violation of Utility Maximization
Revealed Preference offers nonparametric tests for whether consumption observations can be rationalized by a utility function. If a consumer is inconsistent with GARP, we might need a measure for the severity of inconsistency. One widely used measure is the Afriat efficiency index (AEI).We propose a new measure based on the extent to which the indifference surfaces intersect the budget hyperplanes. The measure is intuitively appealing and, as a cutoff- rule evaluated by Monte Carlo experiments, performs very well compared to the AEI. The results suggest that the new measure is better suited to capture small deviations from utility maximation.
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