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Stochastic expected utility theory

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  • Pavlo Blavatskyy

Abstract

This paper proposes a new decision theory of how individuals make random errors when they compute the expected utility of risky lotteries. When distorted by errors, the expected utility of a lottery never exceeds (falls below) the utility of the highest (lowest) outcome. This assumption implies that errors are likely to overvalue (undervalue) lotteries with expected utility close to the utility of the lowest (highest) outcome. Proposed theory explains many stylized empirical facts such as the fourfold pattern of risk attitudes, common consequence effect (Allais paradox), common ratio effect and violations of betweenness. Theory fits the data from ten well-known experimental studies at least as well as cumulative prospect theory. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Pavlo Blavatskyy, 2007. "Stochastic expected utility theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 259-286, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:34:y:2007:i:3:p:259-286
    DOI: 10.1007/s11166-007-9009-6
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    14. 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.
    15. Blavatskyy, Pavlo R., 2006. "Violations of betweenness or random errors?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 34-38, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Decision theory; Stochastic utility; Expected utility theory; Cumulative prospect theory; C91; D81;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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