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A million answers to twenty questions: Choosing by checklist

  • Mandler, Michael
  • Manzini, Paola
  • Mariotti, Marco

Several decision models in marketing science and psychology assume that a consumer chooses by proceeding sequentially through a checklist of desirable properties. These models are contrasted to the utility maximization model of rationality in economics. We show on the contrary that the two approaches are nearly equivalent. Since the number of preference discriminations that an agent can make increases exponentially in the number of properties used, checklists provide a rapid procedural basis for utility maximization.

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

Volume (Year): 147 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 71-92

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:147:y:2012:i:1:p:71-92
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  1. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
  2. Houy, Nicolas & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2009. "Lexicographic compositions of multiple criteria for decision making," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1770-1782, July.
  3. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
  4. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1996. "Why Are Certain Properties of Binary Relations Relatively More Common in Natural Language?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 343-55, March.
  5. Rubinstein, Ariel & Salant, Yuval, 2006. "A model of choice from lists," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 3-17, March.
  6. Peter C. Fishburn, 1974. "Exceptional Paper--Lexicographic Orders, Utilities and Decision Rules: A Survey," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(11), pages 1442-1471, July.
  7. Michael Yee & Ely Dahan & John R. Hauser & James Orlin, 2007. "Greedoid-Based Noncompensatory Inference," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(4), pages 532-549, 07-08.
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