Questions tagged [consumer-theory]

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

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23
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4answers
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?
15
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3answers
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 ...
14
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2answers
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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 ...
14
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3answers
198 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 ...
11
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3answers
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 ...
11
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2answers
34k views

Marshallian Demand for Cobb-Douglas

When trying maximize the utility having a cobb-douglas utility function $u=x_1^ax_2^b$, with $a+b = 1$, I found the following formulas (Wikipedia: Marshallian Demand): $x_1 = \frac{am}{p_1}\\ x_2 = \...
11
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1answer
634 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 ...
10
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1answer
592 views

Is it possible to derive indifference curves given marshallian demand function?

In a two good world, will a marshallian demand function the likes of D(p,m) where p is the price of one good and m the income yield a utility function or ...
10
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1answer
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Homogenous of degree one in utility function.

Question My solution is as follows. Please check my solution. If I make a mistake, please tell. I am really not sure about my solution. Thank you U(x) is homogenous of degree one i.e. u(...
9
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7answers
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Piracy/File sharing - Why aren't songs, movies or ebooks given for free (+ads) like TV?

Update: I have spent 750 reputation points for bounties on this 6 year old question, and it looks like ONLY NOW this question might be closed. LOL. this must be such a huge guinness book of stackex ...
9
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1answer
22k 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 ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Thin indifference curves

If a consumer follows the rationality axiom of continuity (i.e. no jumps in his preferences), the indifference curves of a utility function are said to be thin. Why does continuity ($x \succeq y \...
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2answers
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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, ...
9
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1answer
825 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 ...
8
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3answers
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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 ...
8
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1answer
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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 ...
8
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2answers
504 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 ...
7
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1answer
4k views

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 ...
7
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2answers
8k 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?
7
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3answers
12k 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 ...
7
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1answer
19k views

Differences between Hicksian and Slutskian approaches

When deriving the substitution effect for both Slutskian and Hicksian definitions, a 'phantom' budget line is drawn.However, for a Slutskian definition, the 'phantom' budget line is drawn parallel to ...
7
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1answer
277 views

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 ...
7
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2answers
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 ...
7
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1answer
116 views

Interior Solution for profit maximisation problem

A function $c: \mathbb{R}^K_+ \xrightarrow{} \mathbb{R}_+$ is is said to be a cost function if The value of function $c$ at $y = \textbf{0}$ is $0$: $c(\textbf{0}) = 0$ $c$ is continuous on the ...
6
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4answers
5k views

Can someone explain graphically why MRS is invariant under monotonic transformation?

Let $U(x,y)$ be a utility function. Suppose I have an indifference curve for which $U(x,y) = \bar{U}$. Then $dU = 0$ along the curve and I can rearrange to find the MRS. Suppose I have a monotonic ...
6
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2answers
3k views

Meaning of Additively Separable, Linear in X

Often I see both in micro and macro two common terminology : Additively separable. Linear in price or linear in probability. I understand exactly as they sound by looking at the functional form ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Why do so many models assume homothetic preferences?

...when Engels Law, backed by a good amount empirical evidence, demonstrates that overall consumer preferences are not homothetic. See for example, Jorgenson (1997)
6
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3answers
323 views

Do claims in economics require proofs?

My professor stated four axioms in class Scarcity Rationality (aka purposive behavior) Stable Preferences Equilibrium I don't understand what these axioms are for. I am used to axioms with ...
6
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1answer
2k 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 ...
6
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1answer
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 ...
6
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1answer
780 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 ...
6
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
258 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 ...
6
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3answers
18k 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 ...
6
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2answers
402 views

CES preferences intuition

I asked this question on math.stackexchange but deleted it from there and brought it here. I had a question about Constant Elasticity of substitution type preferences of the form: $$U=\int_{0}^{1}(c(\...
6
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1answer
506 views

Saturation of durable goods

It seems one factor ignored (or is it?) in economic theory is saturation of durable goods. By this I mean the fulfillment of fixed need for durable goods. We can imagine income to be divided between ...
6
votes
1answer
664 views

Prove that a continuous $\succsim$ is quasilinear

This question is closely related to Mas-colell, Whinston, Green: Microeconomic Theory, Question 3.C.5b Let $\succsim$ be a strictly monotone, continuous, and rational preference relation on $(-\...
6
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1answer
158 views

GARP and SARP assumed mononticity?

Monotonicity means the decision maker prefer more goods than less. It is not mentioned in textbook that SARP and GARP preasumed monotonicity, implicitly. GARP: if $a$ is indirectly revealed preferred ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Weak Axiom of Revealed Preference

Maybe this is a well-known fact that I have somehow overlooked or forgotten etc., but I found myself curious recently if there are any conclusions about WARP holding over different dimensions for a ...
6
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1answer
166 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Intuition for why $EV>CV$ for a normal good

I understand the mathematical proof and the graphical illustration behind this property ($EV>CV$ for the variation in the price of a normal good), but I still do not understand the economic ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Usefulness of the Convexity Axiom

I'm asked to write an essay supporting the statement which says the convexity axiom has little economic content and should be eliminated from the economic models of consumer theory. I'm supposed to ...
5
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2answers
583 views

Does consumer theory assume that utility functions are consistent overtime?

I'm interested in how we model a consumer with a changing utility function over time. Example: an individual's demand for candy/sweets at 10 years of age will be different when he is 20,30 or 40 ...
5
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3answers
3k views

intertemporal utility function usage : calculating consumption

I have encountered this a lot in my exams and can not seem to understand how to use these functions here is an easy exemple : A consumer who will only live 2 periods receives 1000€ in the first ...
5
votes
2answers
190 views

Consumer behavior with constrained demand

Suppose there is a linear demand function $D(p)$ describing the demand of an individual consumer. This is derived from a utility function or is just observed, but let us assume it is correct. Now ...
5
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2answers
13k views

Why is the income effect zero for quasilinear utility functions?

Suppose I have the utility function $$U(x,y) = \sqrt{x} + y$$ subject to budget constraint $$p_x x + p_y y = m$$ Then $$x_M =\frac{p_y^2}{4 p_x^2}$$ $$y_M = \frac{m}{p_y} - \frac{p_y}{4 p_x}$$ ...
5
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2answers
551 views

If the (direct) utility is concave in all goods, is the indirect utility necessarily concave in wealth?

Suppose that the direct utility $u(x_1,...,x_n)$ is concave in each of its arguments. Does this imply that the indirect utility $U(w,p)$ is concave with respect to $w$? If all goods are normal than ...
5
votes
1answer
207 views

Why can't I use TMoLM for this bliss point problem?

I am having difficulty with a particular bliss point problem. The basic issue I have is my approaches seem flawed and I can't tell why. The equation is $$U(x,y) = 36x -4x^2 + 6y-2y^2$$ subject to ...
5
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1answer
68 views

Pigouvian tax with general utility function

Suppose person a's consumption of good $y$ imposes a negative externality on person b. Person a's utility maximisation problem is $$\max_{x_a,y_a} \ u_a(x_a,y_a),$$ subject to $$p_x x_a+p_y y_a=e_a.$$ ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Continuous rational and monotone preference relation implies $x\succsim0$?

I updated my proof to a general version as follows: please share your thoughts & 2cent. Thanks Show a monotone continuous complete preorder on $\mathbb{R^L_+}$ has $y\geq x\rightarrow y\succsim ...

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