Optimism and Pessimism with Expected Utility
AbstractSavage (1954) provided a set of axioms on preferences over acts that were equivalent to the existence of an expected utility representation. We show that in addition to this representation, there is a continuum of other .expected utility.representations in which for any act, the probability distribution over states depends on the corresponding outcomes. We suggest that optimism and pessimism can be captured by the stake-dependent probabilities in these alternative representations; e.g., for a pessimist, the probability of every outcome except the worst is distorted down from the Savage probability. Extending the DM.s preferences to be defined on both subjective acts and objective lotteries, we show how one may distinguish optimists from pessimists and separate attitude towards uncertainty from curvature of the utility function over monetary prizes.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 11-036.
Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2011
Date of revision: 25 Oct 2011
Subjective expected utility; optimism; pessimism; stake-dependent probability;
Other versions of this item:
- David Dillenberger & Andrew Postlewaite & Kareen Rozen, 2011. "Optimism and Pessimism with Expected Utility," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1829, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- David Dillenberger & Andrew Postlewaite & Kareen Rozen, 2012. "Optimism and Pessimism with Expected Utility," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000353, David K. Levine.
- D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-11-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-MIC-2011-11-07 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-UPT-2011-11-07 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
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.:
- Simon Grant & Ben Polak & Tomasz Strzalecki, 1969. "Second-Order Expected Utility," Working Paper 8340, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- Simon Grant & Edi Karni, 2005.
"Why Does It Matter That Beliefs And Valuations Be Correctly Represented?,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(3), pages 917-934, 08.
- Grant, S. & Karni, E., 2002. "Why Does it Matter that Beliefs and Valuations be Correctly Represented?," Discussion Paper 2002-12, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Grant, Simon & Karni, Edi, 2003. "Why Does It Matter That Beliefs and Valuations Be Correctly Represented?," Working Papers 2003-02, Rice University, Department of Economics.
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