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Ellsberg Paradox and Second-order Preference Theories on Ambiguity: Some New Experimental Evidence

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  • Yang, Chun-Lei
  • Yao, Lan
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    Abstract

    We study the two-color problem by Ellsberg (1961) with the modification that the decision maker draws twice with replacement and a different color wins in each draw. The 50-50 risky urn turns out to have the highest risk conceivable among all prospects including the ambiguous one, while all feasible color distributions are mean-preserving spreads to one another. We show that the well-known second-order sophisticated theories like MEU, CEU, and REU as well as Savage’s first-order theory of SEU share the same predictions in our design, for any first-order risk attitude. Yet, we observe that substantial numbers of subjects violate the theory predictions even in this simple design.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 28531.

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    Date of creation: 22 Jan 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:28531

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    Keywords: Ellsberg paradox; Ambiguity; Second-order risk; Second-order preference theory; Experiment;

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    1. Fox, Craig R & Tversky, Amos, 1995. "Ambiguity Aversion and Comparative Ignorance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 585-603, August.
    2. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2005. "A Smooth Model of Decision Making under Ambiguity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1849-1892, November.
    3. David Schmeidler, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7662, David K. Levine.
    4. Robert F. Nau, 2006. "Uncertainty Aversion with Second-Order Utilities and Probabilities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(1), pages 136-145, January.
    5. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    6. Uzi Segal, 1989. "Two-Stage Lotteries Without the Reduction Axiom," UCLA Economics Working Papers 552, UCLA Department of Economics.
    7. Yoram Halevy & Vincent Feltkamp, . "A Bayesian Approach to Uncentainty Aversion," Penn CARESS Working Papers f17f3e2c6ad93e4b53fd58fc9, Penn Economics Department.
    8. Camerer, Colin & Weber, Martin, 1992. " Recent Developments in Modeling Preferences: Uncertainty and Ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 325-70, October.
    9. Uzi Segal, 1985. "The Ellsberg Paradox and Risk Aversion: An Anticipated Utility Approach," UCLA Economics Working Papers 362, UCLA Department of Economics.
    10. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell & Peter Klibanoff & Emre Ozdenoren, 1998. "Maximum Expected Utility over Savage Acts with a Set of Priors," Discussion Papers 1218, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    11. Heath, Chip & Tversky, Amos, 1991. " Preference and Belief: Ambiguity and Competence in Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-28, January.
    12. Halevy, Yoram, 2005. "Ellsberg Revisited: an Experimental Study," Microeconomics.ca working papers halevy-05-07-26-11-51-13, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Feb 2014.
    13. Casadesus-Masanell, Ramon & Klibanoff, Peter & Ozdenoren, Emre, 2000. "Maxmin Expected Utility over Savage Acts with a Set of Priors," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 35-65, May.
    14. Jack Douglas Stecher & Timothy Shields & John Dickhaut, 2008. "Generating ambiguity in the laboratory," Working Papers 08-10, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    15. Kyoungwon Seo, 2009. "Ambiguity and Second-Order Belief," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1575-1605, 09.
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