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A Measure of Rationality and Welfare

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  • Jose Apesteguia
  • Miguel Angel Ballester

Abstract

There is ample evidence to show that choice behavior often deviates from the classical principle of maximization. This evidence raises at least two important questions: (i) how severe the deviation is and (ii) which method is the best for extracting relevant information from the choices of the individual for the purposes of welfare analysis. In this paper we address these two questions by proposing a set of foundational conditions on which to build a proper measure of the rationality of individuals, and enable individual welfare analysis of potentially inconsistent subjects, all based on standard revealed preference data. In our first result, we show that there is a unique measure of rationality that satisfies all of the proposed axioms: the weighted-loss indices. In the second part of the paper, we study some relevant properties of weighted-loss indices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 467.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:467

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Keywords: Rationality; Individual Welfare; Revealed Preference;

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References

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  1. Chambers, Christopher P. & Hayashi, Takashi, 2012. "Choice and individual welfare," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(5), pages 1818-1849.
  2. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2008. "Beyond Revealed Preference: Choice Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics," NBER Working Papers 13737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Timothy K. M. Beatty & Ian A. Crawford, 2011. "How Demanding Is the Revealed Preference Approach to Demand?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2782-95, October.
  4. Masatlioglu, Yusufcan & Ok, Efe A., 2005. "Rational choice with status quo bias," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 1-29, March.
  5. Federico Echenique & Sangmok Lee & Matthew Shum, 2011. "The Money Pump as a Measure of Revealed Preference Violations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(6), pages 1201 - 1223.
  6. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
  7. Howe, Eric C, 1991. "A More Powerful Method for Triangularizing Input-Output Matrices: A Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 521-23, March.
  8. Jose Apesteguia & Miguel A. Ballester & Rosa Ferrer, 2011. "On the Justice of Decision Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-16.
  9. Green, Jerry & Hojman, Daniel, 2007. "Choice, Rationality and Welfare Measurement," Working Paper Series rwp07-054, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  10. Varian, Hal R., 1990. "Goodness-of-fit in optimizing models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 125-140.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:cge:warwcg:106 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Patricio S. Dalton & Sayantan Ghosal, 2013. "Characterizing behavioral decisions with choice data," Working Papers 2013_22, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  3. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima & Erkut Ozbay, 2009. "Revealed Attention," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 814577000000000409, www.najecon.org.
  4. Mark Dean & Daniel Martin, 2011. "Testing for Rationality with Consumption Data: Demographics and Heterogeneity," Working Papers 2011-11, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Halevy, Yoram, 2012. "Parametric Recoverability of Preferences," Microeconomics.ca working papers yoram_halevy-2012-20, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 07 Apr 2014.
  6. Apesteguia, Jose & Ballester, Miguel A., 2013. "Choice by sequential procedures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 90-99.
  7. Katherine Baldiga & Jerry Green, 2013. "Assent-maximizing social choice," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 439-460, February.

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