Center for Advanced Management




Prof. Dr. Stefan Hoderlein (Universität Mannheim)


  • Date: Tuesday, 11.12.2007
    Time: 16:30 - 18:00 
    Location: Room 221, Ludwigstr. 28 / II (Bibliothek des Seminars für Internationale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen)


How Many Consumers are Rational?

Rationality places strong restrictions on individual consumer behavior. This paper is concerned with assessing the validity of the integrability constraints imposed by standard utility maximization, arising in classical consumer demand analysis. More specifically, we characterize the testable implications of negative semidefiniteness and symmetry of the Slutsky matrix across a heterogeneous population without assuming anything on the functional form of individual preferences. In the same spirit, homogeneity of degree zero is being considered. Our approach employs nonseparable models and is centered around a conditional independence assumption, which is sufficiently general to allow for endogenous regressors. It is the only substantial assumption a researcher has to specify in this model. Most of the results follow from this assumption under regularity conditions. Finally, we apply all concepts to British household data, and show that rationality is an acceptable description for very large parts of the population.

Paper (PDF, 324 kB)