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Revealed preference and indifferent selection

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  • Eric Danan

Abstract

It is shown that preferences can be constructed from observed choice behavior in a way that is robust to indifferent selection (i.e., the agent is indifferent between two alternatives but, nevertheless, is only observed selecting one of them). More precisely, a suggestion by Savage (1954) to reveal indifferent selection by considering small monetary perturbations of alternatives is formalized and generalized to a purely topological framework: references over an arbitrary topological space can be uniquely derived from observed behavior under the assumptions that they are continuous and nonsatiated and that a strictly preferred alternative is always chosen, and indifferent selection is then characterized by discontinuity in choice behavior. Two particular cases are then analyzed: monotonic preferences over a partially ordered set, and preferences representable by a continuous pseudo-utility function.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 952.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:952

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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Keywords: Revealed preference; indifference; choice behavior; continuity; nonsatiation; monotonicity; pseudo-utility;

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  1. Sen, Amartya K, 1971. "Choice Functions and Revealed Preference," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(115), pages 307-17, July.
  2. Subiza, Begona & Peris, Josep E., 1998. "Nontrivial pseudo-utility functions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 67-73, January.
  3. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, September.
  4. Mandler, Michael, 2005. "Incomplete preferences and rational intransitivity of choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 255-277, February.
  5. Cubitt, Robin P. & Sugden, Robert, 2001. "On Money Pumps," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 121-160, October.
  6. Moulin,Hervi, 1991. "Axioms of Cooperative Decision Making," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521424585.
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Cited by:
  1. Kovács, Máté, 2009. "Kinyilvánított preferencia és racionalitás
    [Declared preference and rationality]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(6), pages 546-562.
  2. Itzhak Gilboa & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & David Schmeidler, 2010. "Objective and Subjective Rationality in a Multiple Prior Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(2), pages 755-770, 03.
  3. Faro, José Heleno & Lefort, Jean Philippe, 2013. "Dynamic Objective and Subjective Rationality," Insper Working Papers wpe_312, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  4. Stefania Minardi & Andrei Savochkin, 2013. "Preferences With Grades of Indecisiveness," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 309, Collegio Carlo Alberto.

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