The Invention of the Independence Condition for Preferences
AbstractThis paper discusses the history and interrelations of three central ideas in preference theory: the independence condition in decision under risk, the sure-thing principle in decision under uncertainty, and conjoint independence for multiattribute decisions and consumer theory. Independence was recognized as an important component of decision under risk in the late 1940s by Jacob Marschak, John Nash, Herman Rubin, and Norman Dalkey, and first appeared in publication in Marschak (Marschak, J. 1950. Rational behavior, uncertain prospects, and measurable utility. Econometrica 18 111--141.) and Nash (Nash, J. F. 1950. The bargaining problem. Econometrica 18 155--162.). The sure-thing principle can be credited to Savage (Savage, L. J. 1953. Une Axiomatisation du Comportement Raisonnable Face à l'Incertitude. Colloq. Internal. Centre National Rech. Sci. 40 Econométrie 29--40; Savage, L. J. 1954. The Foundations of Statistics. Wiley, New York (2nd edn., Dover, New York, 1972.). Conjoint independence for consumer theory was introduced by Sono (Sono, M. 1943. The effect of price changes on the demand and supply of separable goods (in Japanese). Kokumin Keisai Zasshi 74 1--51.) and Leontief (Leontief, W. W. 1947a. A note on the interrelation of subsets of independent variables of a continuous function with continuous first derivatives. Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 53 343--350; Leontief, W. W. 1947b. Introduction to a theory of the internal structure of functional relationships. Econometrica 51 361--373.); a form of it can also be recognized in Samuelson (Samuelson, P. A. 1947. Foundations of Economic Analysis. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.), presented earlier in Samuelson (Samuelson, P. A. 1940. Foundations of analytical economics, the observational significance of economic theory. Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, Boston, MA.). Independence and the sure-thing principle are equivalent for decision under risk, but in a less elementary way than has sometimes been thought. The sure-thing principle for decision under uncertainty and conjoint independence are identical in a mathematical sense. The mathematics underlying our three preference conditions has an older history. The independence condition for decision under risk can be recognized in the characterization of "associative means," and conjoint independence for multiattribute decisions in solutions to the "generalized associativity functional equation."
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.
Volume (Year): 41 (1995)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
expected utility; independence condition; conjoint independence; history of utility theory;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- L. Lambertini, 2000. "Quantum Mechanics and Mathematical Economics are Isomorphic. John von Neumann between Physics and Economics," Working Papers 370, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
- repec:hal:journl:halshs-00497444 is not listed on IDEAS
- repec:hal:journl:halshs-00492170 is not listed on IDEAS
- Marc Le Menestrel & Bertrand Lemaire, 2002. "Additive utility with intransitive indifference and without independence: A homogeneous case," Economics Working Papers 628, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Marc Le Menestrel, 2001.
"A process approach to the utility for gambling,"
Economics Working Papers
570, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- repec:hal:journl:halshs-00348818 is not listed on IDEAS
- Li, Shu, 2003. "Violations of conjoint independence in binary choices: The equate-to-differentiate interpretation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 148(1), pages 65-79, July.
- Marc Le Menestrel & Luk N. Van Wassenhove, 2001.
"The domain and interpretation of utility functions: An exploration,"
Economics Working Papers
576, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Marc Le Menestrel & Luk Van Wassenhove, 2001. "The Domain and Interpretation of Utility Functions: An Exploration," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 329-349, December.
- repec:hal:journl:halshs-00348814 is not listed on IDEAS
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.