Aggregation Without the Aggravation? Nonparametric Analysis of the Representative Consumer
CentER Discussion Paper No. 2011-143
23 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2011
Date Written: December 20, 2011
In the tradition of Afriat (1967), Diewert (1973) and Varian (1982), we provide a revealed reference characterization of the representative consumer. Our results are simple and complement those of Gorman (1953, 1961), Samuelson (1956) and others. They can also be applied to data very readily and without the need for auxiliary parametric or statistical assumptions. We investigate the application of our characterization by means of a balanced microdata panel survey. Our findings provide robust evidence against the existence of a representative consumer for our data.
Keywords: revealed preference, aggregation, Gorman Polar Form, GARP
JEL Classification: D10, D30, D60, E10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation