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Revealed preference and indifferent selection

  • Danan, Eric

It is shown that preferences can be constructed from observed choice behavior in a way that is robust to indifferent selection (i.e., the agent is indifferent between two alternatives but, nevertheless, is only observed selecting one of them). More precisely, a suggestion by Savage [Savage, L.J., 1954. The foundations of statistics. John Wiley and Sons] to reveal indifferent selection by considering small monetary perturbations of alternatives is formalized and generalized to a purely topological framework: preferences over an arbitrary topological space can be uniquely derived from observed behavior under the assumptions that they are continuous and nonsatiated and that a strictly preferred alternative is always chosen, and indifferent selection is then characterized by discontinuity in choice behavior. Two particular cases are then analyzed: monotonic preferences over a partially ordered set, and preferences representable by a continuous pseudo-utility function.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Mathematical Social Sciences.

Volume (Year): 55 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 24-37

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Handle: RePEc:eee:matsoc:v:55:y:2008:i:1:p:24-37
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505565

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  1. Sen, Amartya K, 1971. "Choice Functions and Revealed Preference," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(115), pages 307-17, July.
  2. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521424585 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
  4. Subiza, Begona & Peris, Josep E., 1998. "Nontrivial pseudo-utility functions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 67-73, January.
  5. Cubitt, Robin P. & Sugden, Robert, 2001. "On Money Pumps," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 121-160, October.
  6. Mandler, Michael, 2005. "Incomplete preferences and rational intransitivity of choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 255-277, February.
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