Slutsky Meets Marschak: The First-Order Identification of Multi-Product Production

43 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2009

See all articles by E. Glen Weyl

E. Glen Weyl

Microsoft Research New York City; RadicalxChange Foundation

Date Written: December 28, 2009


Marschak (1953) suggested that applied research should begin by determining the minimal set of assumptions and data needed to make a prediction of interest. Standard identification analyses correspond poorly to this search, as they have either stringent data (local average treatment effects/IV and non-parametric) or structure (parametric) requirements. Yet, in this spirit, much empirical (Chetty 2009) and some theoretical work has asked which effects of policy interventions may be forecast from the local observable levels and derivatives of the structure. I formalize this inquiry as the {\em first-order} identification problem and illustrate it with the case of multi-product production. Under perfect competition or monopoly, but not standard oligopoly, Slutsky conditions for firm optimization provide strategies for identifying, for example, the effects of price controls. They also test for consistency of conjectural variations.

Suggested Citation

Weyl, Eric Glen, Slutsky Meets Marschak: The First-Order Identification of Multi-Product Production (December 28, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Eric Glen Weyl (Contact Author)

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RadicalxChange Foundation ( email )


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