Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Uncertainty Aversion with Second-Order Utilities and Probabilities

Contents:

Author Info

  • Robert F. Nau

    ()
    (Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708-0120)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Subjective expected utility theory does not distinguish between attitudes toward uncertainty (ambiguous probabilities) and attitudes toward risk (unambiguous probabilities). Both are explained in terms of nonlinear utility for money rather than properties of events per se, hence, the decision maker displays the same attitude toward all sources of risk and uncertainty. There is ample evidence that real decision makers do not always behave (or even wish to behave) in this way, and instead they often distinguish between risk and uncertainty, as in Ellsberg's (1961) paradox. This paper presents a simple axiomatic model of nonneutral attitudes toward uncertainty and a behavioral test for uncertainty aversion that is applicable even if utility is state dependent. The decision maker may display different degrees of aversion toward gambles on different kinds of events, e.g., being systematically more averse toward gambles on events whose probabilities are more ambiguous. For such a decision maker, the elicitation of preferences among objective gambles may not yield the correct measure of risk aversion for modeling real-world decisions.

    Download Info

    If 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.
    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1050.0469
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 52 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 136-145

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:52:y:2006:i:1:p:136-145

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.informs.org/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: risk aversion; uncertainty aversion; ambiguity; state-dependent utility; Choquet expected utility; cumulative prospect theory; state-preference theory; Ellsberg's paradox; smooth preferences;

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:52:y:2006:i:1:p:136-145. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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.