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The Rich Domain of Uncertainty: Source Functions and Their Experimental Implementation

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  • Mohammed Abdellaoui
  • Aurelien Baillon
  • Laetitia Placido
  • Peter P. Wakker

Abstract

We often deal with uncertain events for which no probabilities are known. Several normative models have been proposed. Descriptive studies have usually been qualitative, or they estimated ambiguity aversion through one single number. This paper introduces the source method, a tractable method for quantitatively analyzing uncertainty empirically. The theoretical key is the distinction between different sources of uncertainty, within which subjective (choice-based) probabilities can still be defined. Source functions convert those subjective probabilities into willingness to bet. We apply our method in an experiment, where we do not commit to particular ambiguity attitudes but let the data speak. (JEL D81)

Suggested Citation

  • Mohammed Abdellaoui & Aurelien Baillon & Laetitia Placido & Peter P. Wakker, 2011. "The Rich Domain of Uncertainty: Source Functions and Their Experimental Implementation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 695-723, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:2:p:695-723
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    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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