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Confidence in preferences

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  • Brian Hill

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Abstract

Indeterminate preferences have long been a tricky subject for choice theory. One reason for which preferences may be less than fully determinate is the lack of confidence in one’s preferences. In this paper, a representation of confidence in preferences is proposed. It is used to develop an account of the role which confidence which rests on the following intuition: the more important the decision to be taken, the more confidence is required in the preferences needed to take it. An axiomatisation of this choice rule is proposed. This theory provides a natural account of when an agent should defer a decision; namely, when the importance of the decision exceeds his confidence in the relevant preferences. Possible applications of the notion of confidence in preferences to social choice are briefly explored.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 39 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 273-302

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:39:y:2012:i:2:p:273-302

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  1. Mandler, Michael, 2009. "Indifference and incompleteness distinguished by rational trade," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 300-314, September.
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  3. Brian Hill, 2012. "Confidence in preferences," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 273-302, July.
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  8. Hill, Brian, 2009. "Confidence and ambiguity," Les Cahiers de Recherche 914, HEC Paris.
  9. Ronan Congar & Vincent Merlin, 2012. "A characterization of the maximin rule in the context of voting," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(1), pages 131-147, January.
  10. Sen, Amartya, 1993. "Internal Consistency of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 495-521, May.
  11. Sen, Amartya, 1973. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780198281931, October.
  12. Young, H. P., 1974. "An axiomatization of Borda's rule," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 43-52, September.
  13. Eliaz, Kfir & Ok, Efe A., 2006. "Indifference or indecisiveness? Choice-theoretic foundations of incomplete preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 61-86, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Brian Hill, 2012. "Confidence in preferences," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 273-302, July.

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