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Subjective states: A more robust model

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  • Epstein, Larry G.
  • Seo, Kyoungwon

Abstract

We study the demand for flexibility and what it reveals about subjective uncertainty. As in Kreps [D. Kreps, 1979. A representation theorem for 'preference for flexibility'. Econometrica 47, 565-577], Nehring [K. Nehring, 1996. Preference for flexibility and freedom of choice in a Savage framework. UC Davis Working Paper; K. Nehring, 1999. Preference for flexibility in a Savage framework. Econometrica 67, 101-119] and Dekel et al. [E. Dekel, B. Lipman, A. Rustichini, 2001. Representing preferences with a unique subjective state space. Econometrica 69, 891-934], the latter is represented by a subjective state space consisting of possible future preferences over actions to be chosen ex post. One contribution is to provide axiomatic foundations for a range of alternative hypotheses about the nature of these ex post preferences. Secondly, we establish a sense in which the subjective state space is uniquely pinned down by the ex ante ranking of (random) menus. Finally, we demonstrate the tractability of our representation by showing that it can model the two comparative notions "2 desires more flexibility than 1" and "2 is more averse to flexibility-risk than is 1."

Suggested Citation

  • Epstein, Larry G. & Seo, Kyoungwon, 2009. "Subjective states: A more robust model," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 408-427, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:67:y:2009:i:2:p:408-427
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 1065-1092, July.
    2. Klaus Nehring, 1999. "Preference for Flexibility in a Savage Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 101-120, January.
    3. Dekel, Eddie & Lipman, Barton L & Rustichini, Aldo, 2001. "Representing Preferences with a Unique Subjective State Space," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 891-934, July.
    4. Epstein, Larry G. & Peters, Michael, 1999. "A Revelation Principle for Competing Mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 119-160, September.
    5. Epstein, Larry G. & Marinacci, Massimo & Seo, Kyoungwon, 2007. "Coarse contingencies and ambiguity," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(4), December.
    6. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1972. "Continuity properties of a von Neumann-Morgenstern utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 45-57, February.
    7. Klaus Nehring, "undated". "Preference For Flexibility And Freedom Of Choice In A Savage Framework," Department of Economics 96-15, California Davis - Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. André Lapied & Thomas Rongiconi, 2013. "Ambiguity as a Source of Temptation: Modeling Unstable Beliefs," Working Papers halshs-00797631, HAL.
    2. Stefania Minardi & Andrei Savochkin, 2016. "Subjective Contingencies and Limited Bayesian Updating," Working Papers w0222, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    3. Sarver, Todd & Ergin, Haluk, 2015. "Hidden actions and preferences for timing of resolution of uncertainty," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(2), May.
    4. Ortoleva, Pietro, 2013. "The price of flexibility: Towards a theory of Thinking Aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 903-934.

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