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Incomplete preferences and confidence

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  • Hill, Brian

Abstract

A theory of incomplete preferences under uncertainty is proposed, according to which a decision maker’s preferences are indeterminate if and only if her confidence in the relevant beliefs does not match up to the stakes involved in the decision. We use the representation of confidence in beliefs introduced in Hill (2013), and axiomatise a class of models, differing from each other in the appropriate notion of stakes. The theory naturally suggests two distinct strategies for completing preferences, and hence for choosing in the presence of incompleteness: one that relies only on beliefs in which the decision maker is sufficiently confident, and one that mobilises all beliefs, no matter how little confidence she may have in them. Axiomatic characterisations are given for completion procedures following each of the strategies. Finally, in a market setting, the incorporation of confidence is shown to add an extra friction, beyond the standard implications of non-expected utility models for Pareto optima.

Suggested Citation

  • Hill, Brian, 2016. "Incomplete preferences and confidence," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 83-103.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:mateco:v:65:y:2016:i:c:p:83-103
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmateco.2016.05.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Minardi, Stefania & Savochkin, Andrei, 2015. "Preferences with grades of indecisiveness," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 300-331.
    2. Miguel Costa-Gomes & Carlos Cueva & Georgios Gerasimou & Matus Tejiscak, 2014. "Choice, Deferral and Consistency," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 201416, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews, revised 26 Dec 2016.
    3. Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Cueva, Carlos & Gerasimou, Georgios, 2014. "Choice, Deferral and Consistency," SIRE Discussion Papers 2015-17, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incomplete preferences; Confidence; Multiple priors; Choice under incomplete preferences; Absence of trade;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D53 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Financial Markets
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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