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Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk

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  • Chris Starmer

Abstract

This article reviews recent developments in the economic theory of individual decision making under risk. Since the 1950s it has been known that individual choices violate the standard model of expected utility in predictable ways. Considerable research effort has now been devoted to the project of developing a superior descriptive model. Following an overview of non-expected utility theories which distinguishes between "conventional" and "non-conventional" approaches, the paper seeks to assess these alternative models in terms of empirical success (using laboratory and field data) and theoretical usefulness. The closing sections reflect on some new directions emerging in this literature.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:38:y:2000:i:2:p:332-382
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.38.2.332
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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