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Flexibility of choice versus reduction of ambiguity

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Author Info

  • Ani Guerdjikova

    ()

  • Alexander Zimper

    ()

Abstract

This paper explores the problem of a social planner willing to improve the welfare of individuals who are unable to compare all available alternatives. The optimal decision trades off the individuals' desire for flexibility versus their aversion towards ambiguous choice situations. We introduce an axiom system that formalizes this idea. Our main result characterizes the preference maximizing opportunity set. It is a maximal set that consists of mutually comparable alternatives. It also has the property that it maximizes the sum of the distances between its ordered elements for some appropriate metric imposed on the set of possible choices.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00355-007-0255-y
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 30 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 507-526

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:30:y:2008:i:3:p:507-526

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References

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  1. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  2. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman & Aldo Rustichini, 2009. "Temptation-Driven Preferences," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 937-971.
  3. Dekel, Eddie & Lipman, Barton L & Rustichini, Aldo, 2001. "Representing Preferences with a Unique Subjective State Space," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 891-934, July.
  4. Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1990. "Behaviorally consistent optimal stopping rules," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 391-402, August.
  5. Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
  6. Alexander Ludwig & Alexander Zimper, 2004. "Investment Behavior under Ambiguity: The Case of Pessimistic Decision Makers," MEA discussion paper series 04060, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  7. Eric Danan & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2004. "Are preferences incomplete? An experimental study using flexible choices," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-23, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  8. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2004. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 119-158, 01.
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Cited by:
  1. Eric Danan & Ani Guerdjikova & Alexander Zimper, 2009. "Indecisiveness aversion and preference for commitment," Working Papers 157, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  2. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.

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