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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Tractable consumer choice

  • Author(s): Friedman, D
  • Sákovics, J
  • et al.

We present a rational model of consumer choice, which can also serve as a behavioral model. The central construct is (Formula presented.), the marginal utility of money, derived from the consumer's rest-of-life problem. It provides a simple criterion for choosing a consumption bundle in a separable consumption problem. We derive a robust approximation of (Formula presented.) and show how to incorporate liquidity constraints, indivisibilities, and adaptation to a changing environment. We find connections with numerous historical and recent constructs, both behavioral and neoclassical, and draw contrasts with standard partial equilibrium analysis. The result is a better grounded, more flexible, and more intuitive description of consumer choice. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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