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Why We Should Not Be Silent About Noise

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  • John Hey

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Abstract

There is an odd contradiction about much of the empirical (experimental) literature: The data is analysed using statistical tools which presuppose that there is some noise or randomness in the data, but the source and possible nature of the noise are rarely explicitly discussed. This paper argues that the noise should be brought out into the open, and its nature and implications openly discussed. Whether the statistical analysis involves testing or estimation, the analysis inevitably is built upon some assumed stochastic structure to the noise. Different assumptions justify different analyses, which means that the appropriate type of analysis depends crucially on the stochastic nature of the noise. This paper explores such issues and argues that ignoring the noise can be dangerous. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • John Hey, 2005. "Why We Should Not Be Silent About Noise," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 8(4), pages 325-345, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:8:y:2005:i:4:p:325-345 DOI: 10.1007/s10683-005-5373-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Chew, S H & Epstein, Larry G & Segal, U, 1991. "Mixture Symmetry and Quadratic Utility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 139-163, January.
    3. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1998. "Testing Different Stochastic Specifications of Risky Choice," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(260), pages 581-598, November.
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    7. Selten, Reinhard, 1991. "Properties of a measure of predictive success," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 153-167, April.
    8. John Hey, 2001. "Does Repetition Improve Consistency?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, pages 5-54.
    9. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
    10. Wu, George & Gonzalez, Richard, 1998. "Common Consequence Conditions in Decision Making under Risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 115-139, April.
    11. Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1989. "Probability and Juxtaposition Effects: An Experimental Investigation of the Common Ratio Effect," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 159-178, June.
    12. Harless, David W & Camerer, Colin F, 1994. "The Predictive Utility of Generalized Expected Utility Theories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1251-1289, November.
    13. Machina, Mark J, 1985. "Stochastic Choice Functions Generated from Deterministic Preferences over Lotteries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(379), pages 575-594, September.
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    15. Carbone, Enrica, 1997. "Investigation of stochastic preference theory using experimental data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 305-311, December.
    16. Hey, John D., 1995. "Experimental investigations of errors in decision making under risk," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 633-640, April.
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