Keynes's "non-numerical" probabilities and non-additive measures
This paper argues that a representation of the epistemic state of the individual through a non-additive measure provides a novel account of Keynes's view of probability theory proposed in the Treatise on Probability. The paper shows, first, that Keynes's "non-numerical" probabilities can be interpreted in terms of decision weights and distortions of the probability priors. Second, it is argued that the degree of non-additivity of the probability measure can account for the confidence in a probability assessment without any reference to a second order probability, as suggested by Keynes's notion of "weight of argument". And, third, it is identified a criterion for decision making under uncertainty developed in the non-additive literature that incorporates a measure of the degree of confidence in the probability assessment. The paper aims to substantiate the view, put forward in a recent paper in this journal, that Keynes's analysis of uncertainty has continuing relevance to decision theory and can provide the foundations for a theory of decision making under uncertainty that is arguably more general than subjective expected utility theory.
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.:
- Eichberger, Jurgen & Grant, Simon & Kelsey, David, 2007.
"Updating Choquet beliefs,"
Journal of Mathematical Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 43(7-8), pages 888-899, September.
- David Schmeidler, 1989.
"Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7662, David K. Levine.
- Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-87, May.
- Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989.
"Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior,"
Journal of Mathematical Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
- Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
- Marcello Basili & Carlo Zappia, 2009. "Shackle And Modern Decision Theory," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 245-282, 05.
- Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
- Jürgen Eichberger & David Kelsey, 1999.
"E-Capacities and the Ellsberg Paradox,"
Theory and Decision,
Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 107-138, April.
- Kelsey, David, 1994.
"Maxmin Expected Utility and Weight of Evidence,"
Oxford Economic Papers,
Oxford University Press, vol. 46(3), pages 425-44, July.
- Anand, Paul, 1991. "The Nature of Rational Choice and The Foundations of Statistics," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 199-216, April.
- Dow, James & Werlang, Sergio Ribeiro da Costa, 1992. "Uncertainty Aversion, Risk Aversion, and the Optimal Choice of Portfolio," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 197-204, January.
- L. Randall Wray & Stephanie Bell, 2004. "Introduction," Chapters, in: Credit and State Theories of Money, chapter 1 Edward Elgar.
- Lawson, Tony, 1985. "Uncertainty and Economic Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380), pages 909-27, December.
- Daniel Ellsberg, 2000. "Risk, Ambiguity and the Savage Axioms," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7605, David K. Levine.
- Fontana, Giuseppe & Gerrard, Bill, 2004. "A Post Keynesian theory of decision making under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 619-637, October.
- Ramsey, Frank P., 1926. "Truth and Probability," Histoy of Economic Thought Chapters, in: Braithwaite, R. B. (ed.), The Foundations of Mathematics and other Logical Essays, chapter 7, pages 156-198 McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought.
- Einhorn, Hillel J & Hogarth, Robin M, 1986. "Decision Making under Ambiguity," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S225-50, October.
- Runde, Jochen, 1994. "Keynesian Uncertainty and Liquidity Preference," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(2), pages 129-44, April.
- Tversky, Amos & Wakker, Peter, 1995. "Risk Attitudes and Decision Weights," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1255-80, November.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7656, David K. Levine.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Runde, Jochen, 1990. "Keynesian Uncertainty and the Weight of Arguments," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(02), pages 275-292, October.
- David Dequech, 2000. "Fundamental Uncertainty and Ambiguity," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 41-60, Winter.
- George Wu & Richard Gonzalez, 1999. "Nonlinear Decision Weights in Choice Under Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(1), pages 74-85, January.
- Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
- Truman F. Bewley, 1986. "Knightian Decision Theory: Part 1," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 807, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- J. M. Keynes, 1937. "The General Theory of Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 209-223.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:30:y:2009:i:3:p:419-430. 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.