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Regret theory and the competitive firm

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  • Wong, Kit Pong
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the production decision of the competitive firm under uncertainty when the firm is not only risk averse but also regret averse. Regret-averse preferences are characterized by a modified utility function that includes disutility from having chosen ex-post suboptimal alternatives. The extent of regret depends on the difference between the actual profit and the maximum profit attained by making the optimal production decision had the firm observed the true realization of the random output price. If the firm is not too regret averse, we show that the conventional result that the optimal output level under uncertainty is less than that under certainty holds. Using a simple binary model wherein the random output price can take on either a low value or a high value with positive probability, we show the possibility that the firm may optimally produce more, not less, under uncertainty than under certainty, particularly when the firm is sufficiently regret averse and the low output price is very likely to prevail.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2014)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 172-175

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:36:y:2014:i:c:p:172-175

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

    Related research

    Keywords: Production; Regret theory; Uncertainty;

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    References

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    1. Sandmo, Agnar, 1971. "On the Theory of the Competitive Firm under Price Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 65-73, March.
    2. Viaene, Jean-Marie & Zilcha, Itzhak, 1998. "The Behavior of Competitive Exporting Firms under Multiple Uncertainty," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 591-609, August.
    3. Wong, Kit Pong, 2012. "Production and insurance under regret aversion," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 1154-1160.
    4. Loomes, Graham, 1988. "Further Evidence of the Impact of Regret and Disappointment in Choice under Uncertainty," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 55(217), pages 47-62, February.
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    8. Loomes, Graham & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1992. "Are Preferences Monotonic? Testing Some Predictions of Regret Theory," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(233), pages 17-33, February.
    9. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1982. "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 805-24, December.
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    11. Sugden Robert, 1993. "An Axiomatic Foundation for Regret Theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 159-180, June.
    12. Wong, Kit Pong, 2011. "Regret theory and the banking firm: The optimal bank interest margin," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 2483-2487.
    13. Batra, Raveendra N & Ullah, Aman, 1974. "Competitive Firm and the Theory of Input Demand under Price Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 537-48, May/June.
    14. David E. Bell, 1983. "Risk Premiums for Decision Regret," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(10), pages 1156-1166, October.
    15. Paroush, Jacob & Venezia, Itzhak, 1979. "On the theory of the competitive firm with a utility function defined on profits and regret," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 193-202, July.
    16. Michael Braun & Alexander Muermann, 2004. "The Impact of Regret on the Demand for Insurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 71(4), pages 737-767.
    17. Muermann, Alexander & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Volkman, Jacqueline M., 2006. "Regret, portfolio choice, and guarantees in defined contribution schemes," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 219-229, October.
    18. Quiggin, John, 1994. "Regret Theory with General Choice Sets," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 153-65, March.
    19. Wong, Kit Pong, 1996. "Background Risk and the Theory of the Competitive Firm under Uncertainty," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 241-51, July.
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