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Preference reversals and probabilistic choice

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  • Pavlo R. Blavatskyy
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    Abstract

    Preference reversals occur when different (but formally equivalent) elicitation methods reveal conflicting preferences over two alternatives. This paper shows that when people have fuzzy preferences i.e. when they choose in a probabilistic manner, their observed decisions can generate systematic preference reversals. A simple model of probabilistic choice and valuation can account for a higher incidence of standard (nonstandard) preference reversals for certainty (probability) equivalents and it can also rationalize the existence of strong reversals. An important methodological contribution of the paper is a new definition of a probabilistic certainty/probability equivalent of a risky lottery.

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    File URL: http://www.iew.uzh.ch/wp/iewwp383.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 383.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:383

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    Keywords: Preference reversal; probabilistic choice; certainty equivalent; probability equivalent; valuation;

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