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A theory of subjective compound lotteries

  • Ergin, Haluk
  • Gul, Faruk
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    We develop a Savage-type model of choice under uncertainty in which agents identify uncertain prospects with subjective compound lotteries. Our theory permits issue preference; that is, agents may not be indifferent among gambles that yield the same probability distribution if they depend on different issues. Hence, we establish subjective foundations for the Anscombe-Aumann framework and other models with two different types of probabilities. We define second-order risk as risk that resolves in the first stage of the compound lottery and show that uncertainty aversion implies aversion to second-order risk which implies issue preference and behavior consistent with the Ellsberg paradox.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

    Volume (Year): 144 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 899-929

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:144:y:2009:i:3:p:899-929
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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    1. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-87, May.
    2. Uzi Segal, 1989. "Two-Stage Lotteries Without the Reduction Axiom," UCLA Economics Working Papers 552, UCLA Department of Economics.
    3. Grant, Simon & Kajii, Atsushi & Polak, Ben, 1998. "Intrinsic Preference for Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 233-259, December.
    4. Sujoy Mukerji & Peter Klibanoff, 2002. "A Smooth Model of Decision,Making Under Ambiguity," Economics Series Working Papers 113, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Segal, Uzi, 1987. "The Ellsberg Paradox and Risk Aversion: An Anticipated Utility Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(1), pages 175-202, February.
    6. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 185-200, January.
    7. Daniel Ellsberg, 2000. "Risk, Ambiguity and the Savage Axioms," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7605, David K. Levine.
    8. Machina, Mark J & Schmeidler, David, 1992. "A More Robust Definition of Subjective Probability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 745-80, July.
    9. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2002. "Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 251-289, February.
    10. Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
    11. Gul, Faruk, 1991. "A Theory of Disappointment Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 667-86, May.
    12. Grant, Simon & Polak, Ben, 2006. "Bayesian beliefs with stochastic monotonicity: An extension of Machina and Schmeidler," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 264-282, September.
    13. F J Anscombe & R J Aumann, 2000. "A Definition of Subjective Probability," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7591, David K. Levine.
    14. Epstein, Larry G & Zhang, Jiankang, 2001. "Subjective Probabilities on Subjectively Unambiguous Events," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 265-306, March.
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