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Title: Revealed preference and welfare analysis
Author: Tipoe, Eileen Liong
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 223X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis uses nonparametric revealed preference methods to derive new tests for consistency with models of consumer behaviour, and discuss the implications for welfare analysis. Chapter 1 demonstrates how to conduct revealed preference analysis when prices, and hence budget constraints, are only partially observed. This chapter extends the revealed preference results of Crawford and Polisson (2015), derived for the static case, to dynamic settings, allowing for storability of goods. Necessary and sufficient conditions for consistency with intertemporal models are derived, which do not require the researcher to distinguish between corner solutions and unavailability of the good, or to impute prices. Chapter 2 discusses the validity of using reported happiness measures as proxies of utility or social welfare, by testing for consistency between revealed and reported preference orderings in Japanese household survey data. Although the expenditure behaviour of most households is consistent with standard models of utility maximisation, it is generally inconsistent with the preference ordering given by their reported happiness. This inconsistency is likely due to reporting error in the happiness measure, and suggests that happiness and utility are empirically distinct and noninterchangeable. Chapter 3 investigates the effect of price inattention on inflation misperceptions and cost-of-living indices, by developing a behavioural model in which consumers only notice price changes above a certain threshold. A data application, using supermarket scanner data, demonstrates that this model generates plausible results; in particular, consumers have more accurate perceptions of inflation during periods of high or volatile inflation, but may substantially misperceive inflation when it is low. These results have important implications for conducting welfare analysis when consumers are not fully attentive to price changes.
Supervisor: Crawford, Ian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economics ; Econometrics ; Applied microeconomics ; Revealed preference ; Inflation ; Cost of living index ; Household expenditure ; Happiness ; Welfare analysis