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Preferences and the Dynamic Representative Consumer

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Abstract

This paper provides families of time-separable, twice continuously di?erentiable, and strictly concave utility functions of a group of consumers that are both su?cient and necessary in order to have linear aggregation in a single-commodity-type deterministic dynamic environment, in the presence of consumer wealth-, labor-productivity, and preference heterogeneity, for alternative settings where the rates of time preference can be the same or di?erent across consumers. The employed concept of linear aggregation pertains the existence of a representative consumer with a time-separable utility function. It is proved that when the rates of time preference are choice-independent and heterogeneous across consumers, a representative consumer exists if, and only if, the momentary utility functions of all consumers are exponential. Results are also provided for, (i) common across consumers choice-independent rates of time preference, and, (ii) heterogeneous choice-dependent rates of time preference, and compared with previously identi?ed su?cient conditions for aggregation in the existing literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Christos Koulovatianos, 2005. "Preferences and the Dynamic Representative Consumer," Vienna Economics Papers 0505, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vie:viennp:0505
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maliar, Lilia & Maliar, Serguei, 2001. "Heterogeneity in capital and skills in a neoclassical stochastic growth model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1367-1397, September.
    2. Lilia Maliar & Serguei Maliar, 2003. "The Representative Consumer in the Neoclassical Growth Model with Idiosyncratic Shocks," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(2), pages 368-380, April.
    3. Christopher D. Carroll, 2000. "Requiem for the Representative Consumer? Aggregate Implications of Microeconomic Consumption Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 110-115, May.
    4. Chatterjee, Satyajit, 1994. "Transitional dynamics and the distribution of wealth in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 97-119, May.
    5. Jaume Ventura & Francesco Caselli, 2000. "A Representative Consumer Theory of Distribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 909-926, September.
    6. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    7. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
    8. Robert A. Pollak, 1971. "Additive Utility Functions and Linear Engel Curves," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(4), pages 401-414.
    9. Christian Gollier & Richard Zeckhauser, 2005. "Aggregation of Heterogeneous Time Preferences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 878-896, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carolina Achury & Sylwia Hubar & Christos Koulovatianos, 2012. "Saving Rates and Portfolio Choice with Subsistence Consumption," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(1), pages 108-126, January.
    2. Carolina Achury & Sylwia Hubar & Christos Koulovatianos, 2012. "Saving Rates and Portfolio Choice with Subsistence Consumption," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(1), pages 108-126, January.
    3. Christos Koulovatianos & Carsten Schröder & Ulrich Schmidt, 2010. "Confronting the Representative Consumer with Household-Size Heterogeneity," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1056, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Koulovatianos, Christos & Schröder, Carsten & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2014. "Do demographics prevent consumer aggregates from reflecting micro-level preferences?," CFS Working Paper Series 484, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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