Revealed preference tests for consistency with weakly separable indirect utility

Abstract

Since Varian (Econometrica 50:945–973, 1982; Review of Economic Studies 50:90–110, 1983) made checking for consistency with revealed preference conditions more accessible to empirical researchers; researchers have often used revealed preference procedures to test their maintained hypotheses and narrow the scope of their demand studies. The tests developed by Varian are for the direct utility function, while researchers estimating demand systems often find it convenient to model consumer behavior with an indirect utility function. Unfortunately structure revealed in the direct utility function does not necessarily follow for the indirect utility function. To remedy this problem, we set forth conditions for checking consumer data for consistency with revealed preference conditions for minimization and weak separability of the indirect utility function.

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Correspondence to James L. Swofford.

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Hjertstrand, P., Swofford, J.L. Revealed preference tests for consistency with weakly separable indirect utility. Theory Decis 72, 245–256 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11238-010-9226-3

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Keywords

  • Revealed preference
  • Indirect utility
  • Weak separability

JEL Classification

  • C60
  • D11
  • D12