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Stochastic expected utility theory

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  • Pavlo Blavatskyy

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    Abstract

    This paper proposes a new decision theory of how individuals make random errors when they compute the expected utility of risky lotteries. When distorted by errors, the expected utility of a lottery never exceeds (falls below) the utility of the highest (lowest) outcome. This assumption implies that errors are likely to overvalue (undervalue) lotteries with expected utility close to the utility of the lowest (highest) outcome. Proposed theory explains many stylized empirical facts such as the fourfold pattern of risk attitudes, common consequence effect (Allais paradox), common ratio effect and violations of betweenness. Theory fits the data from ten well-known experimental studies at least as well as cumulative prospect theory. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11166-007-9009-6
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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 34 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 259-286

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:34:y:2007:i:3:p:259-286

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Decision theory; Stochastic utility; Expected utility theory; Cumulative prospect theory; C91; D81;

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    7. Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1989. " Probability and Juxtaposition Effects: An Experimental Investigation of the Common Ratio Effect," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 159-78, June.
    8. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
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    13. Camerer, Colin F, 1989. " An Experimental Test of Several Generalized Utility Theories," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 61-104, April.
    14. Conlisk, John, 1989. "Three Variants on the Allais Example," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 392-407, June.
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    17. Loomes, G. & Moffatt, P.G. & Sugden, R., 1998. "A Microeconometric Test of Alternative Stochastic Theories of Risky Choice," University of East Anglia Discussion Papers in Economics 9806, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
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    26. Uri Gneezy & John A List & George Wu, 2006. "The Uncertainty Effect: When a Risky Prospect Is Valued Less Than Its Worst Possible Outcome," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1283-1309, November.
    27. Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-33, March.
    28. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. " Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
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