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On the Smooth Ambiguity Model: A Reply


  • Peter Klibanoff
  • Massimo Marinacci
  • Sujoy Mukerji


We find that Epstein (2010)'s Ellsberg-style thought experiments pose, contrary to his claims, no paradox or difficulty for the smooth ambiguity model of decision making under uncertainty developed by Klibanoff, Marinacci and Mukerji (2005). Not only are the thought experiments naturally handled by the smooth ambiguity model, but our reanalysis shows that they highlight some of its strengths compared to models such as the maxmin expected utility model (Gilboa and Schmeidler (1989)). In particular, these examples pose no challenge to the model's foundations, interpretation of the model as affording a separation of ambiguity and ambiguity attitude or the potential for calibrating ambiguity attitude in the model.
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Suggested Citation

  • Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2012. "On the Smooth Ambiguity Model: A Reply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(3), pages 1303-1321, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:80:y:2012:i:3:p:1303-1321
    DOI: ECTA9775

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2006. "Ambiguity Aversion, Robustness, and the Variational Representation of Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1447-1498, November.
    2. Epstein, Larry G. & Schneider, Martin, 2003. "IID: independently and indistinguishably distributed," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 32-50, November.
    3. William Neilson, 2010. "A simplified axiomatic approach to ambiguity aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 113-124, October.
    4. Marciano Siniscalchi, 2009. "Vector Expected Utility and Attitudes Toward Variation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 801-855, May.
    5. Robert F. Nau, 2006. "Uncertainty Aversion with Second-Order Utilities and Probabilities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(1), pages 136-145, January.
    6. Segal, Uzi & Spivak, Avia, 1990. "First order versus second order risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 111-125, June.
    7. Amarante, Massimiliano, 2009. "Foundations of neo-Bayesian statistics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 2146-2173, September.
    8. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Santiago I. Sautua, 2016. "Risk, Ambiguity, And Diversification," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 014588, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:136:y:2017:i:c:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gonçalo Faria & João Correia-da-Silva, 2014. "A closed-form solution for options with ambiguity about stochastic volatility," Review of Derivatives Research, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 125-159, July.
    4. Adam Dominiak & Wendelin Schnedler, 2011. "Attitudes toward uncertainty and randomization: an experimental study," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 48(2), pages 289-312, October.
    5. Giraud, Raphaël, 2014. "Second order beliefs models of choice under imprecise risk: non-additive second order beliefs vs. nonlinear second order utility," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(3), September.
    6. Attanasi, Giuseppe Marco & Gollier, Christian & Montesano, Aldo & Pace, Noémie, 2012. "Eliciting ambiguity aversion in unknown and in compound lotteries: A KMM experimental approach," IDEI Working Papers 744, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    7. Massimo Guidolin & Francesca Rinaldi, 2013. "Ambiguity in asset pricing and portfolio choice: a review of the literature," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 183-217, February.
    8. Jianying Qiu & Utz Weitzel, 2016. "Experimental evidence on valuation with multiple priors," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 53(1), pages 55-74, August.
    9. Jürgen Eichberger & Simon Grant & David Kelsey, 2016. "Randomization and dynamic consistency," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 62(3), pages 547-566, August.
    10. Robert Nau, 2011. "Risk, ambiguity, and state-preference theory," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 48(2), pages 437-467, October.
    11. Polemarchakis, Herakles & Selden, Larry & Song, Xinxi, 2017. "The identification of attitudes towards ambiguity and risk from asset demand," CRETA Online Discussion Paper Series 28, Centre for Research in Economic Theory and its Applications CRETA.
    12. Giuseppe Attanasi & Christian Gollier & Aldo Montesano & Noemi Pace, 2014. "Eliciting ambiguity aversion in unknown and in compound lotteries: a smooth ambiguity model experimental study," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 485-530, December.
    13. Sujoy Mukerji & Robin Cubitt & Gijs van de Kuilen, 2014. "Discriminating between Models of Ambiguity Attitude: A Qualitative Test," Economics Series Working Papers 692, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty


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