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Utility of Income as a Random Function. Behavioral Characterization and Empirical Evidence

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Abstract

The paper proposes a particular approach to model the utility of income. We develop a theoretical framework that restricts the class of admissible functional forms and distributions of the random components of the model. The theoretical approach is based on theories of probabilistic choice and ideas that are used in modern psychophysical research. From our theoretical framework, we obtain the empirical model and the corresponding likelihood function. The empirical analysis is based on a "Stated Preference" survey. The model fits the data quite well. Finally, we discuss the concept of cardinality and the implications for consumer demand relations.

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  • John K. Dagsvik & Steinar Strøm & Zhiyang Jia, 2005. "Utility of Income as a Random Function. Behavioral Characterization and Empirical Evidence," Discussion Papers 431, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:431
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dagsvik, John k: & Strøm, Steinar, 2003. "A Stochastic Model for the Utility of Income," Memorandum 32/2003, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    2. Buyze, Jeannine, 1982. "The estimation of welfare levels of a cardinal utility function," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 325-332.
    3. Kapteyn, Arie & Wansbeek, Tom, 1985. "The individual welfare function : A review," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 333-363, December.
    4. Van Praag, B.M.S., 1989. "The Relativity of the Welfare Concept," Research Paper 69, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
    5. Patel, Nitin R. & Subrahmanyam, Marti G., 1978. "Utility theory and participation in unfair lotteries," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 555-557, December.
    6. Daniel McFadden, 2001. "Economic Choices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 351-378, June.
    7. Simon, Herbert A, 1986. "Rationality in Psychology and Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 209-224, October.
    8. Van Herwaarden, Floor G. & Kapteyn, Arie, 1979. "Empirical comparison of the shape of welfare functions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 71-76.
    9. Daniel McFadden, 1977. "Modelling the Choice of Residential Location," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 477, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    10. Gerard Debreu, 1957. "Stochastic Choice and Cardinal Utility," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 39, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    11. Smith, Vernon L, 1985. "Experimental Economics: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 264-272, March.
    12. Van Praag, Bernard, 1971. "The welfare function of income in Belgium: An empirical investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 337-369.
    13. van Praag, Bernard M. S. & Kapteyn, Arie, 1994. "How sensible is the Leyden individual welfare function of income? A reply," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1817-1825, December.
    14. Dagsvik, John K, 1994. "Discrete and Continuous Choice, Max-Stable Processes, and Independence from Irrelevant Attributes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1179-1205, September.
    15. John K. Dagsvik, 2002. "Discrete Choice in Continuous Time: Implications of an Intertemporal Version of the Iia Property," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 817-831, March.
    16. van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1991. "Ordinal and cardinal utility : An integration of the two dimensions of the welfare concept," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 69-89, October.
    17. Allais Maurice, 1990. "Cardinal Utility," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-38, June.
    18. Seidl, Christian, 1994. "How sensible is the Leyden individual welfare function of income?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1633-1659, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Aase, Knut K., 2014. "Recursive utility and jump-diffusions," Discussion Papers 2014/9, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    2. Daniel L. McFadden, 2013. "The New Science of Pleasure," NBER Working Papers 18687, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Dagsvik, John K, 2017. "Invariance Axioms and Functional Form Restrictions in Structural Models," Memorandum 08/2017, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    4. Mitsunobu Miyake, 2010. "Convergence theorems of willingness-to-pay and willingness-to-accept for nonmarket goods," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 34(4), pages 549-570, April.
    5. Daniel McFadden, 2014. "The new science of pleasure: consumer choice behavior and the measurement of well-being," Chapters,in: Handbook of Choice Modelling, chapter 2, pages 7-48 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Dagsvik, John K., 2006. "Justifying Functional Forms in Models for Transitions between Discrete States, with Particular Reference to Employment-Unemployment Dynamics," Memorandum 06/2006, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    7. Aase, Knut K., 2014. "Heterogeneity and limited stock market Participation," Discussion Papers 2014/5, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science, revised 25 Mar 2015.
    8. John Dagsvik, 2013. "Making Sen’s capability approach operational: a random scale framework," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 75-105, January.
    9. Dagsvik, John K., 2008. "Axiomatization of stochastic models for choice under uncertainty," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 341-370, May.
    10. John K. Dagsvik, 2012. "Making Sen's capability approach operational. A random scale framework," Discussion Papers 710, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    11. Aase, Knut K., 2014. "Recursive utility using the stochastic maximum principle," Discussion Papers 2014/3, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science, revised 25 Mar 2015.
    12. John K. Dagsvik & Zhiyang Jia, 2008. "An Alternative Approach to Labor Supply Modeling. Emphasizing Job-type as Choice Variable," Discussion Papers 550, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    13. John Dagsvik & Stine Røine Hoff, 2011. "Justification of functional form assumptions in structural models: applications and testing of qualitative measurement axioms," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(2), pages 215-254, February.
    14. repec:eee:matsoc:v:91:y:2018:i:c:p:85-95 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. John K. Dagsvik & Zhiyang Jia, 2006. "Labor Supply as a Choice among Latent Job Opportunities. A Practical Empirical Approach," Discussion Papers 481, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    16. Dagsvik John K., 2010. "Making Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach Operational: A Random Scale Framework for Empirical Modeling," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201005, University of Turin.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Utility of income; Random utility; Invariance principles;

    JEL classification:

    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
    • D19 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Other

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