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Ordering Ambiguous Acts

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  • Ian Jewitt
  • Sujoy Mukerji

Abstract

We investigate what it means for one act to be more ambiguous than another. The question is evidently analogous to asking what makes one prospect riskier than another, but beliefs are neither objective nor representable by a unique probability. Our starting point is an abstract class of preferences constructed to be (strictly) partially ordered by a more ambiguity averse relation. First, we define two notions of more ambiguous with respect to such a class. A more ambiguous (I) act makes an ambiguity averse decision maker (DM) worse off but does not affect the welfare of an ambiguity neutral DM. A more ambiguous (II) act adversely affects a more ambiguity averse DM more, as measured by the compensation they require to switch acts. Unlike more ambiguous (I), more ambiguous (II) does not require indifference of ambiguity neutral elements to the acts being compared. Second, we implement the abstract definitions to characterize more ambiguous (I) and (II) for two explicit preference families: α-maxmin expected utility and smooth ambiguity. Thirdly, we give applications to the comparative statics of more ambiguous in a standard portfolio problem and a consumption-saving problem.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 553.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:553

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Related research

Keywords: Ambiguity; Uncertainty; Knightian uncertainty; Ambiguity aversion; Uncertainty aversion; Ellsberg paradox; Comparative statics; Single-crossing; More ambiguous; Portfolio choice;

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Cited by:
  1. Jianjun Miao & Neng Wang, 2007. "Risk, Uncertainty, and Option Exercise," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2007-016, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Loïc Berger, 2011. "Smooth Ambiguity Aversion in the Small and in the Large," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2011-020, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Hackbarth, Dirk & Miao, Jianjun, 2012. "The dynamics of mergers and acquisitions in oligopolistic industries," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 585-609.
  4. Tomoki Fujii, 2012. "Dynamic Poverty Decomposition Analysis: An Application to the Philippines," Working Papers 34-2012, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  5. Yehuda Izhakian, 2012. "Ambiguity Measurement," Working Papers 12-01, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  6. Klibanoff, Peter & Marinacci, Massimo & Mukerji, Sujoy, 2009. "Recursive smooth ambiguity preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 930-976, May.
  7. Aflaki, Sam, 2013. "The effect of environmental uncertainty on the tragedy of the commons," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 240-253.
  8. Alan Rogers & Matthew Ryan, 2012. "Additivity and Uncertainty," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 1858-1864.
  9. Ruffino, Doriana, 2013. "A Robust Capital Asset Pricing Model," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-1, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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