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Are Revealed Intentions Possible?

  • John HEY

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of York, York YO10 5DD, United Kingdom)

  • Carmen PASCA

    (LUISS Italy)

This paper asks whether it is possible to design an Intentions Revealing Experiment – that is, an experiment in which the early moves of the decision maker in a dynamic decision problem reveal the intentions of that decision maker regarding later moves in the decision problem. If such a type of experiment is possible, then it will enable economists to test whether individuals have plans and implement them – a basic assumption of all economic theories of dynamic decision making. Unfortunately the main finding of the paper is in the form of two Impossibility Theorems which show that, unless one is prepared to make certain assumptions, such an Intentions Revealing Experiment is impossible. However, the paper does have a positive side – it describes the type of assumptions that one needs to make in order to make an Intentions Revealing Experiment possible.

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Article provided by Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its journal Review of Economic and Business Studies.

Volume (Year): (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (June)
Pages: 73-89

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Handle: RePEc:aic:revebs:y:2010:i:5:heyj
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