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# Questions tagged [consumer-theory]

the study of consumer choice and its fundamental underpinnings in preferences and constraints.

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2k views

### What are Giffen Goods?

What exactly are Giffen goods and are they of purely theoretical interest or has there been empirical evidence of their existence?
2k views

### Are monotonic and continuous preferences necessarily rational?

Let $\succsim$ be a strictly monotonic and continuous preference relation, and let $X=\mathbb{R}^{n}$ be the consumption set. Is rationality of $\succsim$ implied by these conditions? I think ...
11k views

### The relationship between the expenditure function and many others!

I dont understand the relationships between Hicksian demand, walrasian demand (marshallian), the expenditure function and the indirect utility function (including the value function V(b)). I have ...
173 views

### Current knowledge about the empirics of consumer theory

I would like to get up to speed on the current state of empirical work done to test the assumptions and predictions of consumer theory (think Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 6 of Mas-Colell et al.). Can anyone ...
4k views

### Is scalping tickets harmful?

IMHO, scalping tickets is no different from legitimate arbitrage unless manipulative. Iirc, arbitrage increases surplus and hindering scalping is setting a price ceiling which leads to deadweight ...
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### Why does Slutsky compensation “overcompensate” the consumer?

Suppose I have a Marshallian demand function $x_M(p_x^0,p_y,m^0)$. As I understand it, Slutsky compensation is defined as $$T_S = \Delta p_x \cdot x_M(p_x^0,p_y,m^0)$$ Can someone explain why this ...
18k views

### Gross substitutes vs. net substitutes

Wikipedia explains the difference between products that are "gross substitutes" and products that are "net substitutes". However, the mathematical explanation doesn't give much intuition about these ...
940 views

### When can one safely talk about decreasing marginal utility?

One thing I hear a lot is talk of decreasing marginal utility—the idea being that additional units of a good become progressively less attractive the more units of that good one has already. However, ...
5k views

### Leontief preferences

I can solve most utility maximization problems using my mathematical knowledge .... but not when it comes to Leontief preferences. I do not have a book to lean on (am self-studying), so would really ...
537 views

### Competitive equilibrium in Leontief economies

Consider an economy in which all consumers have, possibly different, Leontief utilities. Since preferences are not strictly convex, it is not guaranteed that a competitive equilibrium exists. I found ...
355 views

### Log-normality assumption in consumption based asset pricing

Consider a very basic discrete time representative consumer maximization problem with CRRA utility. There exist a risky asset with time $t$ price $p_t$ that pays time $t+1$ dividend $d_{t+1}$ , and a ...
497 views

### Calculus and Indifference Curves in an Urban Economics Example

I am reading the paper 'The Structure of Urban Equilibria' by Jan Brueckner. It uses a monocentric city model, where all consumers earn income $y$ at the centre of the city. They buy $q$ housing for ...
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### Are there any other rational preference relations without utility function representations, besides Lexicographic?

It seems like lexicographic isn't that "special". Like yes it is special in that supposing it has a utility function gives you a bijection from the rationals to the reals, but I mean unique in some ...
3k views

### Which utility function yields a constant price elasticity of demand function?

How do I know which utility function I can use to find an isoelastic demand function, e.g., $x(p)=Ap^a$? And similarly, which cost function can I use to find an isoelastic supply function? Does it ...
6k views

### What is an example application of a quasilinear utility function?

I am told a quasilinear utility function is a function like $$U(x,y) = \sqrt{x}+y$$ My Question: Can someone provide a real world example of a quasilinear utility function?
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### Do perfect complements have to be normal goods? If so, why?

Two goods $x,y$ are perfect complements if they have the utility function $$U(x,y) = \min \lbrace ax,by \rbrace$$ $$a,b \in \Bbb{Q}^+$$ My professor said $x,y$ have to be normal goods but didn't ...
8k views

### What is a rational consumer?

There is a lot of debate on whether or not consumers and investors are rational. Unfortunately, I haven't seen much qualification for what is called a rational consumer. What are the requirements ...
2k views

### Prove the budget correspondence is upper hemi-continuous

Let $p \in \mathbb{R}_+^L$ be price vector and let $w \in \mathbb{R}_+$ be wealth of the consumer. Define the Budget correspondence $B(p,w) =\{x \in \mathbb{R}_+^L : p\cdot x\le w \}$ . How to prove ...
721 views

### Does a monotonic transformation of a homothetic utility function imply the preference relation on the set of consumption bundles is still homothetic?

Does a monotonic transformation of a homothetic utility function imply the preference relation on the set of consumption bundles is still homothetic? Obviously, if a utility function on a set of ...
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### What is the point of the indirect utility function?

Where does this have application? I understand how the demand function may be arrived at using the utility maximization problem but I don't understand where the indirect utility function is used and I ...
1k views

### If the Engel Curve of a Cobb-Douglas utility function is positive and linear, than does that mean it is neither a necessity nor a luxury good?

Since the concavity of the Engel Curve determines whether it is a necessity or luxury (i.e. how fast quantity demand changes in relation to changes in income), and since the second derivative of a ...
206 views

### Shopping example in Kőszegi / Rabin (2006)

In "Section IV Shopping" of Kőszegi / Rabin (A model of reference-dependent preferences, QJE 2006), the example of consumer buying a pair of shoes is given. They claim that "her disutility from ...
17k views

### Quasilinear Utility Functions

We know if the utility function is quasilinear (QL) w.r.t good 1, then the demand for other goods is independent of income (no income effect for goods $(2,\dots, N)$). But is the reverse implication ...
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### Is MRS supposed to have a minus sign or not? What's there to say about convexity of preferences?

If we have a utility function $U(x_1, x_2) = x_1(x_2+1)^2$ of some consumer, then $$MRS_{x_1, x_2} = \frac{\color{red}{-}(x_2+1)}{2x_1}$$ Some books have a $\color{red}{-}$. Others and Wiki don't ...
118 views

### Utility Maximisation Subject to Income and Time Constraints

The consumption of economic goods often takes time. Consider, for example: Transport services, eg flights, rail journeys; Leisure goods, eg watching a film, visiting a park. I would like to explore ...
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### Stone-Geary utility function, derivation of Marshallian demand

I am reading a paper on structural change. It has three sectors and it features non homothetic utility function, namely a CES with some thresholds for the consumption of the three goods. The UMP is as ...
160 views

### What are the economic benefits of SLAPP in file sharing/piracy?

Spin-off from Piracy/File sharing - Why aren't songs, movies or books given for free? What are the economic benefits of SLAPP in or out of file sharing/piracy? There's a comment in above link ...
I have the utility equation $U(a,b) = a^{2}b^{3}$ How can I tell if the indifference curves are convex? I was under the impression that if: $U_{a} > 0$ and $U_{b} < 0$ then the curve would ...