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In January 2009, the U.S. economy sits in its most precarious position since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The crash of the U.S. economy has reverberated throughout the world and adversely impacted virtually every other economic system on the globe. This sad fact is well known and undisputed by economists and social scientists throughout the world. That consumer behavior contributed heavily to this world, economic upheaval is also undisputed. What is less certain is exactly how consumer behavior ultimately contributed to the world economic collapse and what role behavior by consumers will play in ultimately lifting the world economy out of its current dire economic circumstances. Whatever that role ultimately turns out to be, it is clear that economists and other social scientists must understand better how consumers make decisions and what factors impact those decisions, in trying to fine-tune economic policy in order to deal with the current (and perhaps future) economic crisis.
This chapter presents an exposition of the Generalized Fechner–Thurstone (GFT) direct utility function, the system of demand functions derived from it, other systems of…
This chapter presents an exposition of the Generalized Fechner–Thurstone (GFT) direct utility function, the system of demand functions derived from it, other systems of demand functions from which it can be derived, and its purpose and the econometric circumstances that motivated its original development. Its use in econometrics is demonstrated by an application to household consumer survey data which explores the relationship between prices, on the one hand, and expected exogenous preference changers such as household size, schooling of heads of household, and other social factors, on the other.