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) carried out in Germany. In this model the equivalence scales are identified by virtue of nonlinearities in household demand. Therefore, the econometric framework should not impose any strong restrictions on the functional forms of household expenditure shares. The chosen semiparametric specification meets this requirement. It is flexible, it yields N-consistent parameter estimates, and is consistent with consumer theory. Estimated equivalence scales are below or in the range of the expert equivalence scales of the German social benefits system.
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