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Two examples of ambiguity aversion


  • Blavatskyy, Pavlo R.


We consider two plausible and even natural examples of ambiguity aversion: the classical Ellsberg (1961) two-color paradox and a variant of the Machina (2009) reflection example. We extend the results of Baillon et al. (2011) and demonstrate that these two examples challenge the descriptive validity of Siniscalchi (2009) vector expected utility and the model of Nau (2006).

Suggested Citation

  • Blavatskyy, Pavlo R., 2013. "Two examples of ambiguity aversion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 206-208.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:118:y:2013:i:1:p:206-208 DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2012.10.026

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Olivier L’Haridon & Lætitia Placido, 2010. "Betting on Machina’s reflection example: an experiment on ambiguity," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(3), pages 375-393, September.
    2. Tomasz Strzalecki, 2011. "Axiomatic Foundations of Multiplier Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 47-73, January.
    3. Aurelien Baillon & Olivier L'Haridon & Laetitia Placido, 2011. "Ambiguity Models and the Machina Paradoxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1547-1560, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Cerreia-Vioglio, S. & Maccheroni, F. & Marinacci, M. & Montrucchio, L., 2011. "Uncertainty averse preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(4), pages 1275-1330, July.
    6. David S. Ahn, 2008. "Ambiguity Without a State Space," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 3-28.
    7. Robert F. Nau, 2006. "Uncertainty Aversion with Second-Order Utilities and Probabilities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(1), pages 136-145, January.
    8. Chateauneuf, Alain & Faro, José Heleno, 2009. "Ambiguity through confidence functions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(9-10), pages 535-558, September.
    9. Ghirardato, Paolo & Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo, 2004. "Differentiating ambiguity and ambiguity attitude," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 133-173, October.
    10. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    11. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2005. "A Smooth Model of Decision Making under Ambiguity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1849-1892, November.
    12. 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.
    13. Mark J. Machina, 2009. "Risk, Ambiguity, and the Rank-Dependence Axioms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 385-392, March.
    14. Thomas J. Sargent & LarsPeter Hansen, 2001. "Robust Control and Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 60-66, May.
    15. William Neilson, 2010. "A simplified axiomatic approach to ambiguity aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 113-124, October.
    16. Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
    17. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    18. Marciano Siniscalchi, 2009. "Vector Expected Utility and Attitudes Toward Variation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 801-855, May.
    19. Wojciech Olszewski, 2007. "Preferences Over Sets of Lotteries -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 567-595.
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    Cited by:

    1. Blavatskyy, Pavlo, 2016. "Probability weighting and L-moments," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 255(1), pages 103-109.

    More about this item


    Subjective uncertainty; Ambiguity; Ambiguity aversion; Ellsberg paradox; Reflection example;

    JEL classification:

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


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