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Samuelson’s Approach to Revealed Preference Theory: Some Recent Advances

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  • Thomas Demuynck
  • Per Hjertstrand

Abstract

Since Paul Samuelson introduced the theory of revealed preference, it has become one of the most important concepts in economics. This chapter surveys some recent contributions in the revealed preference literature. We depart from Afriat's theorem, which provides the conditions for a data set to be consistent with the utility maximization hypothesis. We provide and motivate a new condition, which we call the Varian inequalities. The advantage of the Varian inequalities is that they can be formulated as a set of mixed integer linear inequalities, which are linear in the quantity and price data. We show how the Varian inequalities can be used to derive revealed preference tests for weak separability, and show how it can be used to formulate tests of the collective household model. Finally, we discuss measurement errors in the observed data and measures of goodness-of-fit, power and predictive success.
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  • Thomas Demuynck & Per Hjertstrand, 2020. "Samuelson’s Approach to Revealed Preference Theory: Some Recent Advances," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/314701, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/314701
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    3. Aguiar, Victor H. & Hjertstrand, Per & Serrano, Roberto, 2020. "A Rationalization of the Weak Axiom of Revealed Preference," Working Paper Series 1321, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    4. Hjertstrand, Per, 2021. "Power against random expenditure allocation for revealed preference tests," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 188(C), pages 36-45.

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    JEL classification:

    • C60 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - General
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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