Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Better may be worse: Some monotonicity results and paradoxes in discrete choice

Contents:

Author Info

  • Mattsson, Lars-Göran

    ()
    (Department of Infrastructure)

  • Voorneveld, Mark

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Weibull, Jörgen W.

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

It is not unusual in real-life that one has to choose among finitely many alternatives when the merit of each alternative is not perfectly known. This may be the case when an individual chooses school, doctor or pension plan, or when a firm chooses between alternative R&D projects. Instead of observing the actual utilities of the alternatives at hand, one typically observes more or less precise signals that are positively correlated with these utilities. In addition, the decision-maker may, at some cost or disutility of effort, choose to increase the precision of these signals, for example by way of a careful study or the hiring of expertise. We here develop a model of such decision problems. We begin by showing that a version of the monotone likelihood-ratio property is sufficient, and also essentially necessary, for the optimality of the heuristic decision rule to always choose the alternative with the highest signal. Secondly, we show that it is not always advantageous to face alternatives with higher utilities, a non-monotonicity result that holds even if the decision-maker optimally chooses the signal precision. We finally establish an operational first-order condition for the optimal precision level in a canonical class of decision-problems, and we show that the optimal precision level may be discontinuous in the precision cost.

Download Info

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 558.

as in new window
Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 09 Mar 2004
Date of revision: 21 Apr 2004
Publication status: Published in Theory and Decision , 2007, pages 121-151.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0558

Contact details of provider:
Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-(0)8-736 90 00
Fax: +46-(0)8-31 01 57
Email:
Web page: http://www.hhs.se/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: decision theory; discrete choice; uncertainty; monotonicity.;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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. Eytan Sheshinski, 2003. "Bounded Rationality and Socially Optimal Limits on Choice in a Self-Selection Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 868, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. James A. Mirrlees., 1987. "Economic Policy and Nonrational Behaviour," Economics Working Papers, University of California at Berkeley 8728, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Kihlstrom, Richard E, 1974. "A Bayesian Model of Demand for Information About Product Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 15(1), pages 99-118, February.
  4. Kihlstrom, Richard, 1974. "A general theory of demand for information about product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 413-439, August.
  5. Chade, Hector & Schlee, Edward, 2002. "Another Look at the Radner-Stiglitz Nonconcavity in the Value of Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 421-452, December.
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. Filip Matejka & Alisdair McKay, 2011. "Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp442, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  2. Hautsch, Nikolaus & Hess, Dieter & Müller, Christoph, 2011. "Price adjustment to news with uncertain precision," CFR Working Papers 08-04 [rev.], University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).

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:hhs:hastef:0558. 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: (Helena Lundin).

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.