IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Predictive Utility of Generalized Expected Utility Theories

  • Harless, David W
  • Camerer, Colin F

Recent experimental choice studies compare expected utility with competing theories of decision-making under risk. Formal tests used to judge the theories usually count the number of consistent responses, ignoring systematic variation in inconsistent responses. A maximum-likelihood estimation method is developed that extracts more information from the data and enables one to judge the predictive utility--fit and parsimony--of utility theories. Analyses of twenty-three data sets suggest a menu of theories that sacrifice the least parsimony for the biggest improvement in fit. The menu is mixed fanning, prospect theory, expected utility, and expected value. Copyright 1994 by The Econometric Society.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to JSTOR subscribers. See for details.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 62 (1994)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 1251-89

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:62:y:1994:i:6:p:1251-89
Contact details of provider: Phone: 1 212 998 3820
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Quiggin, John, 1993. " Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Comment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 161-64, April.
  2. Neilson, William S., 1992. "Some mixed results on boundary effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 275-278, July.
  3. Chew, S H & Epstein, Larry G & Segal, U, 1991. "Mixture Symmetry and Quadratic Utility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 139-63, January.
  4. Jullien Bruno & Green Jerry G, 1988. "Ordinal independence in non-linear utility theory," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8818, CEPREMAP.
  5. Conlisk, John, 1989. "Three Variants on the Allais Example," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 392-407, June.
  6. Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1993. "Monetary Rewards and Decision Cost in Experimental Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 245-61, April.
  7. George J. Stigler, 1950. "The Development of Utility Theory. I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 307.
  8. Machina, Mark J, 1985. "Stochastic Choice Functions Generated from Deterministic Preferences over Lotteries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(379), pages 575-94, September.
  9. Fishburn, Peter C., 1983. "Transitive measurable utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 293-317, December.
  10. Dekel, Eddie, 1986. "An axiomatic characterization of preferences under uncertainty: Weakening the independence axiom," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 304-318, December.
  11. Chew, Soo Hong, 1983. "A Generalization of the Quasilinear Mean with Applications to the Measurement of Income Inequality and Decision Theory Resolving the Allais Paradox," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1065-92, July.
  12. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
  13. Neilson, William S., 1992. "A mixed fan hypothesis and its implications for behavior toward risk," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 197-211, October.
  14. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. " Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
  15. Joao L. Becker & Rakesh K. Sarin, 1987. "Lottery Dependent Utility," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(11), pages 1367-1382, November.
  16. Klein, Roger W & Brown, Stephen J, 1984. "Model Selection When There Is "Minimal" Prior Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1291-1312, September.
  17. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  18. Viscusi, W Kip, 1989. " Prospective Reference Theory: Toward an Explanation of the Paradoxes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 235-63, September.
  19. Hong, Chew Soo & Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1987. "Risk aversion in the theory of expected utility with rank dependent probabilities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 370-381, August.
  20. Gul, Faruk, 1991. "A Theory of Disappointment Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 667-86, May.
  21. Harless, David W., 1992. "Predictions about indifference curves inside the unit triangle : A test of variants of expected utility theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 391-414, August.
  22. Camerer, Colin F, 1989. " An Experimental Test of Several Generalized Utility Theories," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 61-104, April.
  23. Machina, Mark J, 1987. "Choice under Uncertainty: Problems Solved and Unsolved," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 121-54, Summer.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:62:y:1994:i:6:p:1251-89. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.