Conditional Preference for Flexibility: Eliciting Beliefs from Behavior
AbstractFollowing Kreps (1979), we consider a decision maker with uncertain beliefs about her own future taste. This uncertainty leaves the decision maker with preference for flexibility: When choosing among menus containing alternatives for future choice, she weakly prefers larger menus. Existing representations accommodating this choice pattern cannot distinguish tastes (indexed by a subjective state space) and beliefs (a probability measure over the subjective states) as different concepts, making it impossible to relate parameters of the representation to choice behavior. We allow choice among menus to depend on exogenous states, interpreted as information. Our axioms yield a representation that uniquely identifies beliefs, provided the impact of information on choice is rich. The result is suggested as a choice theoretic foundation for the assumption, commonly made in the incomplete contracting literature, that contracting parties, who know each other's ranking of contracts, also share beliefs about each others future tastes in the face of unforeseen contingencies.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 8614.
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Preference for Flexibility; Uniqueness; Contracts; Subjective Uncertainty;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
- D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
- D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-05-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2008-05-10 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-EVO-2008-05-10 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-UPT-2008-05-10 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
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