Preferences over characteristics and utility functions over commodities

Aldo Rustichini, Paolo Siconolfi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Following Lancaster, preferences are defined over a set of characteristics, while commodities vectors are transformed into characteristics by a production function. We assume that both the preferences over the characteristics and the production functions are "neoclassical" and we characterize the set utility functions over the consumption space derived as the composition of preferences over characteristics and production functions. We prove that, under regularity conditions, any function can be derived by such a composition. Thus, the theories of characteristics does not impose any restrictions on derived utility functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-164
Number of pages6
JournalEconomic Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008


  • Characteristics
  • Derived utility function

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Preferences over characteristics and utility functions over commodities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this