IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/inm/ormnsc/v58y2012i1p188-202.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Imprecise Data Sets as a Source of Ambiguity: A Model and Experimental Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Ayala Arad

    () (The Eitan Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel)

  • Gabrielle Gayer

    () (Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan 52900, Israel)

Abstract

In many circumstances, evaluations are based on empirical data. However, some observations may be imprecise, meaning that it is not entirely clear what occurred in them. We address the question of how beliefs are formed in these situations. The individual in our model is essentially a "frequentist." He first makes a subjective judgment about the occurrence of the event for each imprecise observation. This may be any number between zero and one. He then evaluates the event by its "subjective" frequency of occurrence. Our model connects the method of processing imprecise observations with the individual's attitude toward ambiguity. An individual who in imprecise observations puts low (high) weight on the possibility that an event occurred is ambiguity averse (loving). An experiment supports the main assertions of the model: with precise data, subjects behave as if there were no ambiguity, whereas with imprecise data subjects turn out to be ambiguity averse. This paper was accepted by Brad Barber, Teck Ho, and Terrance Odean, special issue editors.

Suggested Citation

  • Ayala Arad & Gabrielle Gayer, 2012. "Imprecise Data Sets as a Source of Ambiguity: A Model and Experimental Evidence," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(1), pages 188-202, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:58:y:2012:i:1:p:188-202
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1110.1463
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Itzhak Gilboa, 1988. "A Combination of Expected Utility and Maxmin Decision Criteria," Post-Print hal-00753244, HAL.
    2. Lex Borghans & Bart H. H. Golsteyn & James J. Heckman & Huub Meijers, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity Aversion," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 649-658, 04-05.
    3. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2002. "Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 251-289, February.
    4. Robin M. Hogarth & Hillel J. Einhorn, 1990. "Venture Theory: A Model of Decision Weights," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(7), pages 780-803, July.
    5. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Aurelien Baillon & Laetitia Placido & Peter P. Wakker, 2011. "The Rich Domain of Uncertainty: Source Functions and Their Experimental Implementation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 695-723, April.
    6. Antoine Billot & Itzhak Gilboa & Dov Samet & David Schmeidler, 2005. "Probabilities as Similarity-Weighted Frequencies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(4), pages 1125-1136, July.
    7. Cohen, Michele & Jaffray, Jean-Yves & Said, Tanios, 1987. "Experimental comparison of individual behavior under risk and under uncertainty for gains and for losses," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-22, February.
    8. Gajdos, T. & Hayashi, T. & Tallon, J.-M. & Vergnaud, J.-C., 2008. "Attitude toward imprecise information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 27-65, May.
    9. Thibault Gajdos & Takashi Hayashi & Jean-Marc Tallon & Jean-Christophe Vergnaud, 2008. "Attitude toward imprecise information," Post-Print halshs-00451982, HAL.
    10. Chew, Soo Hong & Sagi, Jacob S., 2008. "Small worlds: Modeling attitudes toward sources of uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 1-24, March.
    11. Eichberger, Jürgen & Guerdjikova, Ani, 2010. "Case-based belief formation under ambiguity," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 161-177, November.
    12. Nehring, Klaus, 1999. "Capacities and probabilistic beliefs: a precarious coexistence," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 197-213, September.
    13. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    14. Camerer, Colin & Weber, Martin, 1992. "Recent Developments in Modeling Preferences: Uncertainty and Ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 325-370, October.
    15. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Laetitia Placido & Aurélien Baillon & P.P. Wakker, 2011. "The Rich Domain of Uncertainty: Source Functions and Their Experimental Implementation," Post-Print hal-00609214, HAL.
    16. Daniel Ellsberg, 1961. "Risk, Ambiguity, and the Savage Axioms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 643-669.
    17. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2005. "A Smooth Model of Decision Making under Ambiguity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1849-1892, November.
    18. Epstein, Larry G & Zhang, Jiankang, 2001. "Subjective Probabilities on Subjectively Unambiguous Events," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 265-306, March.
    19. Yoram Halevy, 2007. "Ellsberg Revisited: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 503-536, March.
    20. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    21. Lex Borghans & Bart H.H. Golsteyn & James J. Heckman & Huub Meijers, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity," Working Papers 200903, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    22. Segal, Uzi, 1988. "Does the Preference Reversal Phenomenon Necessarily Contradict the Independence Axiom?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 233-236, March.
    23. Viscusi, W Kip, 1989. "Prospective Reference Theory: Toward an Explanation of the Paradoxes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 235-263, September.
    24. Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1987. ""Preference Reversal' and the Observability of Preferences by Experimental Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 675-685, May.
    25. Sujoy Mukerji, 1996. "Understanding the nonadditive probability decision model (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 9(1), pages 23-46.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Berger, Loïc & Bleichrodt, Han & Eeckhoudt, Louis, 2013. "Treatment decisions under ambiguity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 559-569.
    2. Roxane Bricet, 2018. "Precise versus imprecise datasets: revisiting ambiguity attitudes in the Ellsberg paradox," THEMA Working Papers 2018-08, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    3. Eichberger, Jürgen & Guerdjikova, Ani, 2013. "Ambiguity, data and preferences for information – A case-based approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(4), pages 1433-1462.
    4. Bleile, Jörg, 2016. "Cautious Belief Formation," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 507, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    decision analysis; theory; inference; uncertainty;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:58:y:2012:i:1:p:188-202. 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: (Matthew Walls). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/inforea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.