Chapter

Community Preference Fields

W. M. Gorman

Edited by C. Blackorby and A. F. Shorrocks

in Separability and Aggregation

Published in print January 1996 | ISBN: 9780198285212
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596322 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198285213.003.0015
 Community Preference Fields

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This is Gorman's first published paper and was published in Econometrica 21 in 1953. A series of formal relationships between community indifference maps and utility possibility maps are stated and it is proved that a given system of personal indifference maps yields a unique community indifference map if, and only if, the personal Engel curves are parallel straight lines for different individuals at the same prices (Engel curves are curves showing the relationship between income level and spending on the consumption of some good, at a given price). The most general method of constructing such a set of indifference maps is discovered, and it appears that the utility possibility map can then be written in the form Σu = constant, where u is the utility index. Various applications are discussed.

Keywords: community indifference maps; community preference fields; consumption; Engel curves; linear Engel curves; personal Engel curves; personal indifference maps; utility indices; utility possibility maps

Chapter.  11562 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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