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Separability and AggregationThe Collected Works of W. M. Gorman, Volume I$
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W. M. Gorman, C. Blackorby, and A. F. Shorrocks

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198285212

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198285213.001.0001

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On a Class of Preference Fields

On a Class of Preference Fields

Chapter:
(p.277) 17 On a Class of Preference Fields
Source:
Separability and Aggregation
Author(s):

W. M. Gorman (Contributor Webpage)

, C. Blackorby, A. F. Shorrocks
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198285213.003.0017

This short note, published in Metroeconomica 13 (1961), begins with the assumption that the preferences of the consumer exhibit linear Engel curves, which were shown in ’Community preference fields’ (Ch. 15) to be necessary for the existence of a community indifference map. Engel curves are curves showing the relationship between income level and spending on the consumption of some good, at a given price, and linear Engel curves crop up in several branches of economics. The note explores some of the properties of the preference fields in which linear Engel curves arise, and, in particular, of those in which the marginal propensity to consume each good is an absolute constant. The preference fields are characterized by closed‐form representations in terms of both the indirect utility function and the cost function. An application to international trade theory is discussed.

Keywords:   community indifference maps, community preference fields, consumption, cost functions, indirect utility functions, international trade theory, linear Engel curves, spending

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