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Probabilities and Beliefs

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  • Karni, Edi

Abstract

Choice-theoretic definitions of subjective probabilities originated with the work of Ramsey and de Finetti and attained their definitive form in the work of Savage. These probabilities are intended to provide a numerical representation of a decision maker's beliefs regarding the likely realization of alternative events. In this article, I argue that the choice-theoretic definitions of subjective probabilities involve a tacit convention--namely, state-independent utility functions--that is not implied by the axioms, and, as a consequence, choice-theoretic subjective probabilities, even when they exist, do not necessarily represent the decision makers' beliefs. Copyright 1996 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Risk and Uncertainty.

Volume (Year): 13 (1996)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 249-62

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:13:y:1996:i:3:p:249-62

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100299

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Cited by:
  1. Grant, S. & Karni, E., 2002. "Why Does it Matter that Beliefs and Valuations be Correctly Represented?," Discussion Paper 2002-12, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Diecidue, E. & Wakker, P.P. & Zeelenberg, M., 2007. "Eliciting decision weights by adapting de Finetti's betting-odds method to prospect theory," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-225938, Tilburg University.
  3. Karni, Edi, 2006. "Subjective expected utility theory without states of the world," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 325-342, June.
  4. Vorobyev, Oleg, 2009. "Eventology versus contemporary theories of uncertainty," MPRA Paper 13961, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Klaus Nehring, 2006. "Bernoulli Without Bayes: A Theory of Utility-Sophisticated Preferences under Ambiguity," Economics Working Papers 0072, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  6. Edi Karni, 2007. "Bayesian Decision Theory and the Representation of Beliefs," Discussion Paper Series dp444, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  7. Edi Karni, 2008. "Agency theory: choice-based foundations of the parametrized distribution formulation," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 337-351, September.
  8. Grant, Simon & Karni, Edi, 2004. "A theory of quantifiable beliefs," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 515-546, August.
  9. Hill, Brian, 2007. "Living without state-independence of utilities," Les Cahiers de Recherche 874, HEC Paris.
  10. Hill, Brian, 2010. "An additively separable representation in the Savage framework," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 2044-2054, September.
  11. Edi Karni, 2005. "Foundations of Bayesian Theory," Economics Working Paper Archive 524, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  12. Napp, Clotilde & Jouini, Elyès & Ben Mansour, Selima, 2006. "Is there a pessimistic bias in individual beliefs ? Evidence from survey data," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/1051, Paris Dauphine University.
  13. Edi Karni, 2009. "A Theory of Bayesian Decision Making," Economics Working Paper Archive 550, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  14. Klaus Nehring, 2006. "Decision-Making in the Context of Imprecise Probabilistic Beliefs," Economics Working Papers 0034, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  15. Edi Karni, 2009. "A Theory of Bayesian Decision Making," EIEF Working Papers Series 0904, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised May 2009.
  16. Mongin, Philippe, 2013. "La théorie de la décision et la psychologie du sens commun," Les Cahiers de Recherche 943, HEC Paris.

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