Sir Richard Stone retired from his chair in Cambridge in September 1980. To mark the occasion, this volume has been written in his honour. It is not a festschrift after the usual mould, where friends and colleagues contribute a diverse collection of papers. Sir Richard's achievements have been too broad and his disciples too many to permit a single collection along such lines. Instead, I have taken one single field in which Sir Richard has been preeminent, and attempted to bring together a first-rate collection of papers in that field. Many of the authors are close friends or ex-colleagues of Sir Richard's, but several have had little more than professional contact. However, all are indebted to him through his scientific work, and in contributing to this volume are united in their wish to honour him and to acknowledge their indebtedness. In editing the volume it is my hope that the best way of honouring Sir Richard and commemorating his retirement is the preparation of a volume of the best current work in the economics of consumer behaviour. The papers published here are representative of a wide range of contemporary research in the field and only a few important topics are not covered at some point. They provide a good indication not only of the state of the art but also of the extraordinary area over which Sir Richard's own work has been an influence.