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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Recurrent Utility Function of Fictitious Generality


For the past twenty-five years, Dusansky and his associated co-authors have published a long series of papers which are based on the same price-dependent utility function. The alleged price dependence, however, is fictitious in the sense that the level of exogenous money income can replace the commodity prices. The consequence is that the demand functions derived from Dusansky’s utility function are identical and observationally equivalent to the demand functions obtained from a prototypical utility function. Since all the market and environmental effects are revealed only through the demand functions, the specification and use of a utility function such as that used by Dusansky is irrelevant and uninformative for the analysis of any economic problem where prices enter the consumer utility function and whose goal is the detection of the effects of price-dependent preferences on the demand for real goods.

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