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How to Decide How to Decide How to. . . : Modeling Limited Rationality

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  • Lipman, Barton L

Abstract

It seems inconsistent to model boundedly rational action choice by assuming that the agent chooses the optimal decision procedure. This criticism is not avoided by assuming that he chooses the optimal procedure to choose a procedure to . . . to choose an action. The author shows that, properly interpreted, this regress, continued transfinitely, generates a model representing the agent's perception of all his options, including every way to refine his perceptions. In this model, the agent surely must choose the perceived best option. Hence, it is not inconsistent to model limited rationality by assuming that the agent uses the "optimal" decision procedure. Copyright 1991 by The Econometric Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Lipman, Barton L, 1991. "How to Decide How to Decide How to. . . : Modeling Limited Rationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1105-1125, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:59:y:1991:i:4:p:1105-25
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    Cited by:

    1. J. Barkley Rosser, 2003. "A Nobel Prize for Asymmetric Information: The economic contributions of George Akerlof, Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 3-21.
    2. Itzhak Gilboa, 1991. "Rationality and Ascriptive Science," Discussion Papers 943, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    3. Kumabe, Masahiro & Mihara, H. Reiju, 2011. "Preference aggregation theory without acyclicity: The core without majority dissatisfaction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 187-201, May.
    4. Hagen Lindstädt, 2007. "Valuing Others’ Information under Imperfect Expectations," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 62(4), pages 335-353, May.
    5. Markus Pasche, 2001. "Equilibrium Concepts for Boundedly Rational Behavior in Games," Working Paper Series B 2001-03, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultïät.
    6. Tohme, Fernando, 2005. "Existence and definability of states of the world," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 81-100, January.
    7. Mongin, P., 1998. "Does Optimization Imply Rationality?," Papers 9817, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
    8. J. Barkley Rosser, 2001. "Alternative Keynesian and Post Keynesian Perspective on Uncertainty and Expectations," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 545-566, July.
    9. Patrick Bolton & Antoine Faure-Grimaud, 2009. "Thinking Ahead: The Decision Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1205-1238.
    10. Kislaya Prasad, "undated". "Choice Under Uncertainty with Costly Computations," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 153, Society for Computational Economics.
    11. Ortoleva, Pietro, 2013. "The price of flexibility: Towards a theory of Thinking Aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 903-934.
    12. Vassilakis, Spyros, 1992. "Some economic applications of Scott domains," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 24(2-3), pages 173-208, November.
    13. Burkhard Schipper, 2015. "Strategic teaching and learning in games," Working Papers 151, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    14. Markus Pasche, 2002. "Heterogeneous Behavioral Rules in the Oligopolistic Case," Working Paper Series B 2002-01, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultïät.
    15. Vriend, Nicolaas J., 1996. "Rational behavior and economic theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 263-285, March.
    16. V. Rattini, 2016. "Managing the Workload: an Experiment on Individual Decision Making and Performance," Working Papers wp1080, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    17. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson & Guillermo Moloche & Stephen Weinberg, 2006. "Costly Information Acquisition: Experimental Analysis of a Boundedly Rational Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1043-1068, September.
    18. Herbert Hax, 2003. "Thünen-Vorlesung: Unternehmensführung und ökonomische Rationalität," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(3), pages 295-312, August.
    19. Markus Pasche, 2002. "Playing Fair: Rationality and Norm-guided Behavior in Games," Working Paper Series B 2002-02, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultïät.
    20. repec:eee:jetheo:v:173:y:2018:i:c:p:56-94 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Conlisk, John, 1996. "Bounded rationality and market fluctuations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 233-250, March.
    22. Steven M. Shugan, 2006. "Editorial—Are Consumers Rational? Experimental Evidence?," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(1), pages 1-7, 01-02.
    23. J. Atsu Amegashie, 2005. "Signaling In A Dynamic Contest With Boundedly Rational Players," Working Papers 0510, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    24. Elie Ofek & Muhamet Yildiz & Ernan Haruvy, 2007. "The Impact of Prior Decisions on Subsequent Valuations in a Costly Contemplation Model," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(8), pages 1217-1233, August.
    25. Ismaël Rafaï & Mira Toumi, 2017. "Pay Attention or Be Paid for Attention? Impact of Incentives on Allocation of Attention," GREDEG Working Papers 2017-11, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

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