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A Million Answers to Twenty Questions: Choosing by Checklist

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Author Info

  • Michael Mandler

    (Royal Holloway, University of London)

  • Paola Manzini

    (Queen Mary, University of London and IZA)

  • Marco Mariotti

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

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 Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 622.

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Date of creation: Mar 2008
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp622

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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. Rubinstein, Ariel & Salant, Yuval, 2006. "A model of choice from lists," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 3-17, March.
  2. Peter C. Fishburn, 1974. "Exceptional Paper--Lexicographic Orders, Utilities and Decision Rules: A Survey," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(11), pages 1442-1471, July.
  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. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
  5. 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.
  6. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
  7. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dimitrov, Dinko & Mukherjee, Saptarshi & Muto, Nozomu, 2013. "List-based decision problems," Discussion Papers 2013-02, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Dietrich, Franz & List, Christian, 2013. "Reason-Based Rationalization," MPRA Paper 51776, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. B. Douglas Bernheim, 2010. "Behavioral welfare economics," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 57(2), pages 123-151, June.
  4. Apesteguia, Jose & Ballester, Miguel A., 2010. "The Computational Complexity of Rationalizing Behavior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 356-363, May.
  5. Dulleck, Uwe & Hackl, Franz & Weiss, Bernhard & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2008. "Buying Online: Sequential Decision Making by Shopbot Visitors," CEPR Discussion Papers 6939, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Jose Apesteguia & Miguel Ballester, 2009. "Choice by Sequential Procedures," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 814577000000000404, www.najecon.org.
  7. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2012. "Revealed Attention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2183-2205, August.
  8. Dietrich, Franz & List, Christian, 2012. "Mentalism versus behaviourism in economics: a philosophy-of-science perspective," MPRA Paper 37813, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco & Tyson, Christopher J., 2011. "Manipulation of Choice Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 5891, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. 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.
  11. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2011. "A General Behavioural Model of Random Choice," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 237, Collegio Carlo Alberto.

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