Semiparametric Estimation of Consumption Based Equivalence Scales: The Case of Germany
Consumption based equivalence scales are estimated by applying the extended partially linear model (EPLM) to the 1998 Income and Consumption Survey (EVS) of Germany. The chosen flexible semiparametric specification is able to capture a large variety of functional forms of household expenditure shares; it yields root-N-consistent parameter estimates and is consistent with consumer theory. The model specification seems to be appropriate for many demographic groups of the survey population. The estimated equivalence scales are mostly lower than the expert equivalence scales of the German social benefits system and the OECD scales. The large standard errors of the estimates indicate that there is still unexplained noise in the data even after constructing homogenous data segments for the estimations.
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