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A generalized probability framework to model economic agents' decisions under uncertainty

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  • Haven, Emmanuel
  • Sozzo, Sandro

Abstract

The applications of techniques from statistical (and classical) mechanics to model interesting problems in economics and finance have produced valuable results. The principal movement which has steered this research direction is known under the name of ‘econophysics’. In this paper, we illustrate and advance some of the findings that have been obtained by applying the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics to model human decision making under ‘uncertainty’ in behavioral economics and finance. Starting from Ellsberg's seminal article, decision making situations have been experimentally verified where the application of Kolmogorovian probability in the formulation of expected utility is problematic. Those probability measures which by necessity must situate themselves in Hilbert space (such as ‘quantum probability’) enable a faithful representation of experimental data. We thus provide an explanation for the effectiveness of the mathematical framework of quantum mechanics in the modeling of human decision making. We want to be explicit though that we are not claiming that decision making has microscopic quantum mechanical features.

Suggested Citation

  • Haven, Emmanuel & Sozzo, Sandro, 2016. "A generalized probability framework to model economic agents' decisions under uncertainty," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 297-303.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finana:v:47:y:2016:i:c:p:297-303
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irfa.2015.12.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Haven, Emmanuel & Khrennikova, Polina, 2018. "A quantum-probabilistic paradigm: Non-consequential reasoning and state dependence in investment choice," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 186-197.
    2. Basieva, Irina & Khrennikova, Polina & Pothos, Emmanuel M. & Asano, Masanari & Khrennikov, Andrei, 2018. "Quantum-like model of subjective expected utility," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 150-162.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Econophysics; Expected utility theory; Ellsberg paradox; Quantum mathematics;

    JEL classification:

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

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