Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Discovered preferences and the experimental evidence of violations of expected utility theory

Contents:

Author Info

  • Robin Cubitt
  • Chris Starmer
  • Robert Sugden

Abstract

The discovered preference hypothesis appears to insulate expected utility theory (EU) from disconfirming experimental evidence. It asserts that individuals have coherent underlying preferences, which experiments may not reveal unless subjects have adequate opportunities and incentives to discover which actions best satisfy their preferences. We identify the confounding effects to be expected in experiments, were that hypothesis true, and consider how they might be controlled for. We argue for a design in which each subject faces just one distinct choice task for real. We review the results of some tests of EU which have used this design. These tests reveal the same violations of the independence axiom as other studies have found. We conclude that the discovered preference hypothesis does not justify scepticism about the reality of these effects.

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://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13501780110103748
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Methodology.

Volume (Year): 8 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 385-414

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:8:y:2001:i:3:p:385-414

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RJEC20

Order Information:
Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/RJEC20

Related research

Keywords: Discovered Preference; Common Consequence Effect; Common Ratio Effect; Single-TASK Design;

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Binmore, Ken, 1999. "Why Experiment in Economics?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F16-24, February.
  2. Holt, Charles A, 1986. "Preference Reversals and the Independence Axiom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 508-15, June.
  3. 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.
  4. John Hey, . "Does Repetition Improve Consistency?," Discussion Papers 99/28, Department of Economics, University of York.
  5. Camerer, Colin, 1995. "Rules for Experimenting in Psychology and Economics, and Why They Differ," Working Papers 946, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  6. Cubitt, Robin P & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1998. "Dynamic Choice and the Common Ratio Effect: An Experimental Investigation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1362-80, September.
  7. Loewenstein, George & Adler, Daniel, 1995. "A Bias in the Prediction of Tastes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(431), pages 929-37, July.
  8. Matthew Rabin., 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Economics Working Papers E00-279, University of California at Berkeley.
  9. Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1991. "Does the Random-Lottery Incentive System Elicit True Preferences? An Experimental Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 971-78, September.
  10. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1990. "Tacit Coordination Games, Strategic Uncertainty, and Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 234-48, March.
  11. Robin Cubitt & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 1998. "On the Validity of the Random Lottery Incentive System," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 115-131, September.
  12. Myagkov, Mikhail & Plott, Charles R, 1997. "Exchange Economies and Loss Exposure: Experiments Exploring Prospect Theory and Competitive Equilibria in Market Environments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 801-28, December.
  13. Starmer, Chris, 1999. "Experimental Economics: Hard Science or Wasteful Tinkering?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F5-15, February.
  14. Shogren, Jason F. & Shin, Seung Youll & Hayes, Dermot J. & Kliebenstein, James, 1994. "Resolving Differences in Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," Staff General Research Papers 701, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  15. 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..
  16. Cubitt, Robin P & Sugden, Robert, 2001. " Dynamic Decision-Making under Uncertainty: An Experimental Investigation of Choices between Accumulator Gambles," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 103-28, March.
  17. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
  18. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1998. "Testing Different Stochastic Specifications of Risky Choice," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(260), pages 581-98, November.
  19. Beattie, Jane & Loomes, Graham, 1997. "The Impact of Incentives upon Risky Choice Experiments," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 155-68, March.
  20. Vernon L. Smith, 1994. "Economics in the Laboratory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 113-131, Winter.
  21. Smith, Vernon L, 1989. "Theory, Experiment and Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 151-69, Winter.
  22. Jack Knetsch & Fang-Fang Tang & Richard Thaler, 2001. "The Endowment Effect and Repeated Market Trials: Is the Vickrey Auction Demand Revealing?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 257-269, December.
  23. Loewenstein, George, 1999. "Experimental Economics from the Vantage-Point of Behavioural Economics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F23-34, February.
  24. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
  25. Evans, Dorla A, 1997. "The Role of Markets in Reducing Expected Utility Violations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 622-36, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

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

Cited by:
  1. James C. Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj & Ulrich Schmidt, 2011. "Paradoxes and Mechanisms for Choice under Risk," Kiel Working Papers 1712, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. McAlvanah, Patrick, 2009. "Are people more risk-taking in the presence of the opposite sex?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 136-146, April.
  3. Gijs Kuilen & Peter Wakker, 2006. "Learning in the Allais paradox," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 155-164, December.
  4. Peter P. Wakker, 2008. "Explaining the characteristics of the power (CRRA) utility family," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(12), pages 1329-1344.
  5. Vieider, Ferdinand M. & Lefebvre, Mathieu & Bouchouicha, Ranoua & Chmura, Thorsten & Hakimov, Rustamdjan & Krawczyk, Michal & Martinsson, Peter, 2013. "Common components of risk and uncertainty attitudes across contexts and domains: Evidence from 30 countries," Discussion Papers, WZB Junior Research Group Risk and Development SP II 2013-402, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  6. Cox, James C. & Sadiraj, Vjollca & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2014. "Asymmetrically Dominated Choice Problems, the Isolation Hypothesis and Random Incentive Mechanisms," MPRA Paper 54722, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Robin Cubitt & Maria Ruiz-Martos & Chris Starmer, 2010. "Are bygones bygones?," Discussion Papers 2010-01, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    • Robin Cubitt & Maria Ruiz-Martos & Chris Starmer, 2010. "Are bygones bygones?," Discussion Papers 2010-01, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    • Robin Cubitt & Maria Ruiz-Martos & Chris Starmer, 2005. "Are bygones bygones?," Discussion Papers 2005-21, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  8. Adam S. Booij & Bernard M.S. Van Praag & Gijs Van De Kuilen, 2009. "A Parametric Analysis of Prospect Theory's Functionals for the General Population," CESifo Working Paper Series 2609, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Holgar Müller & Eike Benjamin Kroll & Bodo Vogt, 2009. "Fact or Artifact Does the compromise effect occur when subjects face real consequences of their choices?," FEMM Working Papers 09009, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  10. Robin Cubitt, 2005. "Experiments and the domain of economic theory," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 197-210.
  11. Gijs Kuilen, 2009. "Subjective Probability Weighting and the Discovered Preference Hypothesis," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 67(1), pages 1-22, July.
  12. Gordon Menzies & Daniel Zizzo, 2006. "Exchange Rate Markets And Conservative Inferential Expectations," CAMA Working Papers 2007-02, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  13. Robin Cubitt & Maria Ruiz-Martos & Chris Starmer, 2005. "Are bygones bygones?," Discussion Papers 2005-21, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    • Robin Cubitt & Maria Ruiz-Martos & Chris Starmer, 2010. "Are bygones bygones?," Discussion Papers 2010-01, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  14. Eike B. Kroll & Bodo Vogt, 2008. "The Relevance of Irrelevant Alternatives: An experimental investigation of risky choices," FEMM Working Papers 08028, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  15. Guala, Francesco & Mittone, Luigi, 2010. "Paradigmatic experiments: The Dictator Game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 578-584, October.

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:taf:jecmet:v:8:y:2001:i:3:p:385-414. 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: (Michael McNulty).

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.