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A Million Answers to Twenty Questions: Choosing by Checklist

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Author Info

  • Mandler, Michael

    ()
    (Royal Holloway, University of London)

  • Manzini, Paola

    ()
    (University of St. Andrews)

  • Mariotti, Marco

    ()
    (University of St. Andrews)

Abstract

Many decision models in marketing science and psychology assume that a consumer chooses by proceeding sequentially through a checklist of desirable properties. These models are contrasted to the utility maximization model of rationality in economics. We show on the contrary that the two approaches are nearly equivalent. Moreover, the length of the shortest checklist as a proportion of the number of an agent’s indifference classes shrinks to 0 (at an exponential rate) as the number of indifference classes increases. Checklists therefore provide a rapid procedural basis for utility maximization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3377.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Economic Theory, 2012, 147 (1), 71-92
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3377

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Related research

Keywords: bounded rationality; procedural rationality; utility maximization; choice behavior;

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References

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  1. Michael Yee & Ely Dahan & John R. Hauser & James Orlin, 2007. "Greedoid-Based Noncompensatory Inference," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(4), pages 532-549, 07-08.
  2. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
  3. Houy, Nicolas & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2009. "Lexicographic compositions of multiple criteria for decision making," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1770-1782, July.
  4. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1996. "Why Are Certain Properties of Binary Relations Relatively More Common in Natural Language?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 343-55, March.
  5. Peter C. Fishburn, 1974. "Exceptional Paper--Lexicographic Orders, Utilities and Decision Rules: A Survey," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(11), pages 1442-1471, July.
  6. Rubinstein, Ariel & Salant, Yuval, 2006. "A model of choice from lists," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 3-17, March.
  7. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dietrich, Franz & List, Christian, 2012. "Mentalism versus behaviourism in economics: a philosophy-of-science perspective," MPRA Paper 37813, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Bernhard Weiss & Uwe Dulleck & Franz Hackl & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2008. "Buying Online: Sequential Decision Making by Shopbot Visitors," Economics working papers 2008-10, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  3. Franz Dietrich & Christian List, 2013. "Reason-Based Rationalization," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000841, David K. Levine.
  4. Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco & Tyson, Christopher J., 2011. "Manipulation of Choice Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 5891, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Apesteguia, Jose & Ballester, Miguel A., 2010. "The Computational Complexity of Rationalizing Behavior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 356-363, May.
  6. Jose Apesteguia & Miguel Angel Ballester, 2012. "Choice By Sequential Procedures," Working Papers 615, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  7. B. Douglas Bernheim, 2009. "On the Potential of Neuroeconomics: A Critical (but Hopeful) Appraisal," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 1-41, August.
  8. B. Douglas Bernheim, 2009. "Behavioral Welfare Economics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 267-319, 04-05.
  9. Dinko Dimitrov & Saptarshi Mukherjee & Nozomu Muto, 2013. "List-based decision problems," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 927.13, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  10. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2011. "A General Behavioural Model of Random Choice," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 237, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  11. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2012. "Revealed Attention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2183-2205, August.
  12. Franz Dietrich & Christian List, 2014. "Reason-Based Rationalization," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /2014/565, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.

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