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The Keynes–Knight and the de Finetti–Savage's Approaches to Probability: An Economic Interpretation


  • Rogério Arthmar

    () (Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo - Department of Economics)

  • Michael Emmett Brady

    () (California State University - Department of Operations Management)


The definition of ‘uncertainty’ proposed by Bruno de Finetti and Leonard J. Savage is significantly different from the one advanced by J. M. Keynes and Frank H. Knight. Recent studies seem to have overlooked this aspect of de Finetti and Savage’s 1962 paper "Sul Modo di Scegliere le Probabilità Iniziali". This particular work has been cited as supporting the claim that there are similarities between the de Finetti-Savage’s conception of uncertainty and the Keynes-Knight’s approach. This claim, however, loses much of its appeal once it is realized that the discussion by de Finetti and Savage involves only the initial probabilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Rogério Arthmar & Michael Emmett Brady, 2016. "The Keynes–Knight and the de Finetti–Savage's Approaches to Probability: An Economic Interpretation," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 24(1), pages 105-124.
  • Handle: RePEc:hid:journl:v:24:y:2016:1:6:p:105-124

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