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Investment behavior under ambiguity: The case of pessimistic decision makers

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  • Ludwig, Alexander
  • Zimper, Alexander

Abstract

We define pessimistic, respectively optimistic, investors as CEU (Choquet expected utility) decision makers who update their pessimistic, respectively optimistic, beliefs according to a pessimistic (Dempster-Shafer), respectively optimistic, update rule. This paper then demonstrates that, in contrast to optimistic investors, pessimistic investors may strictly prefer investing in an illiquid asset to investing in a liquid asset. Key to our result is the dynamic inconsistency of CEU decision making, implying that a CEU decision maker ex ante prefers a different strategy with respect to prematurely liquidating an uncertain long-term investment project than after learning her liquidity needs. Investing in an illiquid asset then serves as a commitment device guaranteeing an ex ante favorable outcome.
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  • Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2006. "Investment behavior under ambiguity: The case of pessimistic decision makers," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 111-130, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:matsoc:v:52:y:2006:i:2:p:111-130
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    Cited by:

    1. Groneck, Max & Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2016. "A life-cycle model with ambiguous survival beliefs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 137-180.
    2. Zimper, Alexander, 2009. "Half empty, half full and why we can agree to disagree forever," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 283-299, August.
    3. Alexander Zimper & Alexander Ludwig, 2007. "Attitude polarization," MEA discussion paper series 07155, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    4. Ani Guerdjikova & Alexander Zimper, 2008. "Flexibility of choice versus reduction of ambiguity," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(3), pages 507-526, April.
    5. Marek Kałuszka & Michał Krzeszowiec, 2013. "Iteracyjność składek ubezpieczeniowych w ujęciu teorii skumulowanej perspektywy i teorii nieokreśloności," Collegium of Economic Analysis Annals, Warsaw School of Economics, Collegium of Economic Analysis, issue 31, pages 45-56.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

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