Decomposable Choice under Uncertainty
Savage motivated his Sure Thing Principle by arguing that, whenever an act would be preferred if an event obtains and preferred if that event did not obtain, then it should be preferred overall. The idea that it should be possible to decompose and recompose decision problems in this way has normative appeal. We show, however, that it does not require the full separability across events implicit in Savage's axiom. We formulate a weaker axiom that suffices for decomposability, and show that this implies an implicit additive representation. Our decomposability property makes local necessary conditions for optimality, globally sufficient. Thus, it is useful in computing optimal acts. It also enables Nash behavior in games of incomplete information to be decentralized to the agent-normal form. None of these results rely on probabilistic sophistication; indeed, our axiom is consistent with the Ellsberg paradox. If we assume probabilistic sophistication, however, then the axiom holds if and only if the agent's induced preferences over lotteries satisfy betweenness.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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 1065-92, July.
- Epstein, Larry G., 1986. "Implicitly additive utility and the nature of optimal economic growth," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 111-128, April.
- Grant, Simon & Kajii, Atsushi & Polak, Ben, 1992. "Many good choice Axioms: When can many-good lotteries be treated as money lotteries?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 313-337, April.
- Sarin, Rakesh & Wakker, Peter P, 1998. "Dynamic Choice and NonExpected Utility," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 87-119, November.
- Chew, S. H. & Epstein, L. G., 1989. "A unifying approach to axiomatic non-expected utility theories," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 207-240, December.
- Gul, Faruk & Lantto, Outi, 1990. "Betweenness satisfying preferences and dynamic choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 162-177, October.
- Costis Skiadas, 1997. "Conditioning and Aggregation of Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(2), pages 347-368, March.
- Fishburn, Peter C., 1990. "Continuous nontransitive additive conjoint measurement," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 165-193, October.
- Hong Chew Soo & Epstein Larry G. & Wakker Peter, 1993. "A Unifying Approach to Axiomatic Non-expected Utility Theories: Correction and Comment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 183-188, February.
- Machina,Mark & Schmeidler,David, 1991.
"A more robust definition of subjective probability,"
Discussion Paper Serie A
365, University of Bonn, Germany.
- Machina, Mark J & Schmeidler, David, 1992. "A More Robust Definition of Subjective Probability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 745-80, July.
- Mark J. Machina & David Schmeidler, 1990. "A More Robust Definition of Subjective Probability," Discussion Paper Serie A 306, University of Bonn, Germany.
- Gul, Faruk, 1991. "A Theory of Disappointment Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 667-86, May.
- Peter A. Diamond, 1967. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparison of Utility: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 765.
- Karl Vind, 1987.
87-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Johnsen, Thore H & Donaldson, John B, 1985. "The Structure of Intertemporal Preferences under Uncertainty and Time Consistent Plans," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1451-58, November.
- Segal, Uzi, 1992. "Additively separable representations on non-convex sets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 89-99, February.
- Epstein Larry G. & Le Breton Michel, 1993. "Dynamically Consistent Beliefs Must Be Bayesian," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 1-22, October.
- Edward SchleeE, 1997. "The sure thing principle and the value of information," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 21-36, January.
- Dekel, Eddie, 1986. "An axiomatic characterization of preferences under uncertainty: Weakening the independence axiom," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 304-318, December.
- Gerard Debreu, 1959. "Topological Methods in Cardinal Utility Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 76, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Skiadas, Costis, 1997. "Subjective Probability under Additive Aggregation of Conditional Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 242-271, October.
- Grant, Simon, 1995. "Subjective Probability without Monotonicity: Or How Machina's Mom May Also Be Probabilistically Sophisticated," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 159-89, January.
- Daniel Ellsberg, 2000. "Risk, Ambiguity and the Savage Axioms," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7605, David K. Levine.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:92:y:2000:i:2:p:169-197. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.