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Axiomatization of Stochastic Models for Choice under Uncertainty

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This paper develops a theory of probabilistic models for risky choices. Part of this theory can be viewed as an extension of the expected utility theory to account for bounded rationality. One probabilistic version of the Archimedean Axiom and two versions of the Independence Axiom are proposed. In addition, additional axioms are proposed of which one is Luce’s Independence from Irrelevant Alternatives. It is demonstrated that different combinations of the axioms yield different characterizations of the probabilities for choosing the respective risky prospects. An interesting feature of the models developed is that they allow for violations of the expected utility theory known as the common consequence effect and the common ratio effect.

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Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 465.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:465

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Keywords: Random tastes; bounded rationality; independence from irrelevant alternatives; probabilistic choice among lotteries; Allais paradox.;

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  1. Fishburn, Peter C, 1978. "A Probabilistic Expected Utility Theory of Risky Binary Choices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(3), pages 633-46, October.
  2. Dagsvik, John k: & Strøm, Steinar, 2003. "A Stochastic Model for the Utility of Income," Memorandum 32/2003, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  3. John K. Dagsvik & Steinar Strøm & Zhiyang Jia, 2005. "Utility of Income as a Random Function. Behavioral Characterization and Empirical Evidence," Discussion Papers 431, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  4. Harless, David W & Camerer, Colin F, 1994. "The Predictive Utility of Generalized Expected Utility Theories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1251-89, November.
  5. Karni, Edi & Schmeidler, David, 1991. "Utility theory with uncertainty," Handbook of Mathematical Economics, in: W. Hildenbrand & H. Sonnenschein (ed.), Handbook of Mathematical Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 33, pages 1763-1831 Elsevier.
  6. Hey, John D., 1995. "Experimental investigations of errors in decision making under risk," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 633-640, April.
  7. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1998. "Testing Different Stochastic Specifications of Risky Choice," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(260), pages 581-98, November.
  8. Gerard Debreu, 1957. "Stochastic Choice and Cardinal Utility," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 39, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2005. "Random Expected Utility," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000834, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. McFadden, Daniel L., 1984. "Econometric analysis of qualitative response models," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1395-1457 Elsevier.
  11. L. Thurstone, 2010. "Psychophysical Analysis," Levine's Working Paper Archive 458, David K. Levine.
  12. Iverson, G. & Falmagne, J. -C., 1985. "Statistical issues in measurement," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 131-153, October.
  13. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
  14. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
  15. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1995. "Incorporating a stochastic element into decision theories," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 641-648, April.
  16. John K. Dagsvik, 2005. "Choice under Uncertainty and Bounded Rationality," Discussion Papers 409, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  17. Carbone, Enrica, 1997. "Investigation of stochastic preference theory using experimental data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 305-311, December.
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Cited by:
  1. John Dagsvik & Stine Røine Hoff, 2011. "Justification of functional form assumptions in structural models: applications and testing of qualitative measurement axioms," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(2), pages 215-254, February.
  2. Cadogan, Godfrey, 2010. "Asymptotic Theory Of Stochastic Choice Functionals For Prospects With Embedded Comotonic Probability Measures," MPRA Paper 22380, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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