Article thumbnail

A Revealed Preference Feasibility Condition for Weak Complementarity

By David G. Brown


It is widely reported in the literature that it is not possible to test nonmarket good preference restrictions against revealed preference. While it is clearly impossible to affirm any particular preference restriction as being “true,” it is possible to show that a preference restriction is not feasible. A revealed preference feasibility test for weak complementarity is presented here. With weak complementarity defined by the observable property of nonessentiality and the unobservable property of no-existencevalue, the latter is the actual preference restriction. It is shown that no-existencevalue is feasible if and only if an observable revealed preference condition of “singlepreference” is satisfied. This strong revealed preference condition is nontrivial when there are two or more market goods in addition to the weak complement. With simple Samuelsonian revealed preference we can falsify single-preference and thereby reject weak complementarity. Stone-Geary numeric examples are included to demonstrate these and other results.

OAI identifier:

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.

Suggested articles


  1. (2004). A diagrammatic exposition of weak complementarity and the willig condition.
  2. (2001). A general approach to the evaluation of nonmarket goods.
  3. (1971). A method of estimating social benefits from pollution control.
  4. (2007). Empirical stategies for incorporating weak complementarity into consumer demand models.
  5. (1974). Environmental Economics: A Theoretical Inquiry. Johns Hopkins University Press for Resources for the Future,
  6. (1998). Evaluation of nonmarket goods: Recovering unconditional preferences.
  7. (1978). Incremental consumer’s surplus and hedonic price adjustment.
  8. (2006). On measuring the value of a nonmarket good using market data.
  9. (1993). Public goods as characteristics of nonmarket commodities.
  10. (1971). Rational choice. In
  11. (1991). Recovering weakly complementary preference.
  12. (1988). Revealed preference with a subset of goods.
  13. (1988). Valuing environmental quality: Weak complementarity with sets of goods.
  14. (2005). Weak complementarity, path independence, and the intuition of the willig condition.