The Revealed Preference Approach to Collective Consumption Behavior: Testing, Recovery, and Welfare Analysis

CentER Discussion Paper No. 2007-73

39 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2007

See all articles by L. Cherchye

L. Cherchye

KU Leuven; Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Bram de Rock

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - Campus Kortrijk (KULAK) - Subfaculty of Economics and Applied Economics

Frederic Vermeulen

Tilburg University - CentER; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2007

Abstract

We extend the nonparametric 'revealed preference' methodology for analyzing collective consumption behavior (with consumption externalities and public consumption), to render it useful for empirical applications that deal with welfare-related questions. First, we provide a nonparametric necessary and sufficient condition for collectively rational group behavior that incorporates the possibility of assignable quantity information. This characterizes collective rationality in terms of feasible personalized prices, personalized quantities and income shares (representing the underlying sharing rule). Subsequently, we present nonparametric testing tools for data consistency with special cases of the collective model, which impose specific structure on the preferences of the group members (in terms of consumption externalities and public consumption); and we show that these testing tools in turn allow for non-parametrically recovering (bounds on) feasible personalized prices, personalized quantities and income shares that underlie observed (collectively rational) group behavior. In addition, we present formally similar testing and recovery tools for the general collective consumption model, which imposes minimal a priori structure. Interestingly, the proposed testing and recovery methodology can be implemented through integer program- ming (IP and MILP), which is attractive for practical applications. Finally, while we argue that assignable quantity information generally entails more powerful recovery results, we also demonstrate that precise nonparametric recovery (i.e. tight bounds) can be obtained even if no assignable quantity information is available.

Keywords: collective model, revealed preferences, consumption, testing, recovery, welfare analysis, integer programming

JEL Classification: D11, D12, D13, C14

Suggested Citation

Cherchye, Laurens and de Rock, Bram and Vermeulen, Frederic, The Revealed Preference Approach to Collective Consumption Behavior: Testing, Recovery, and Welfare Analysis (September 2007). CentER Discussion Paper No. 2007-73, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1016653 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1016653

Laurens Cherchye (Contact Author)

KU Leuven ( email )

Oude Markt 13
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant
Belgium

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Bram De Rock

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - Campus Kortrijk (KULAK) - Subfaculty of Economics and Applied Economics ( email )

Etienne Sabbelaan 53
Kortrijk, B-8500
Belgium

Frederic Vermeulen

Tilburg University - CentER ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands
+31 13 466 3196 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://center.uvt.nl/staff/vermeulen/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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