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A Process Approach to the Utility for Gambling

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  • Marc Le Menestrel

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Abstract

This paper argues that any specific utility or disutility for gambling must be excluded from expected utility because such a theory is consequential while a pleasure or displeasure for gambling is a matter of process, not of consequences. A (dis)utility for gambling is modeled as a process utility which monotonically combines with expected utility restricted to consequences. This allows for a process (dis)utility for gambling to be revealed. As an illustration, the model shows how empirical observations in the Allais paradox can reveal a process disutility of gambling. A more general model of rational behavior combining processes and consequences is then proposed and discussed.
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Suggested Citation

  • Marc Le Menestrel, 2001. "A Process Approach to the Utility for Gambling," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 249-262, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:50:y:2001:i:3:p:249-262 DOI: 10.1023/A:1010325930290
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frey, Bruno S & Stutzer, Alois, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 918-938, October.
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    4. Peter Fishburn & Peter Wakker, 1995. "The Invention of the Independence Condition for Preferences," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(7), pages 1130-1144, July.
    5. Peter Fishburn, 1980. "A simple model for the utility of gambling," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 45(4), pages 435-448, December.
    6. Hammond, P.J. & , ., 1987. "Consequentialist foundations for expected utility," CORE Discussion Papers 1987016, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    7. Fishburn, Peter C, 1989. "Retrospective on the Utility Theory of von Neumann and Morgenstern," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 127-157, June.
    8. Donaldson, Cam & Shackley, Phil, 1997. "Does "process utility" exist? A case study of willingness to pay for laparoscopic cholecystectomy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(5), pages 699-707, March.
    9. Sen, Amartya, 1995. "Rationality and Social Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 1-24, March.
    10. Conlisk, John, 1993. "The Utility of Gambling," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 255-275, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Le Menestrel, Marc & Van Wassenhove, Luk N., 2004. "Ethics outside, within, or beyond OR models?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 153(2), pages 477-484, March.
    2. Humphreys, Brad & Perez, Levi, 2011. "Lottery Participants and Revenues: An International Survey of Economic Research on Lotteries," Working Papers 2011-17, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    3. Marc Le Menestrel, 2003. "A one-shot Prisoners’ Dilemma with procedural utility," Economics Working Papers 819, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    4. Diecidue, E. & Schmidt, U. & Wakker, P.P., 2000. "A Theory of the Gambling Effect," Discussion Paper 2000-75, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. R. Luce & C. Ng & A. Marley & János Aczél, 2008. "Utility of gambling I: entropy modified linear weighted utility," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 36(1), pages 1-33, July.
    6. Bruno Frey & Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Introducing Procedural Utility: Not Only What, but Also How Matters," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(3), pages 377-377, September.
    7. Marc Le Menestrel & Luk Van Wassenhove, 2001. "The Domain and Interpretation of Utility Functions: An Exploration," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 329-349.
    8. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "Beyond Bentham – Measuring Procedural Utility," CESifo Working Paper Series 492, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Matthias Benz & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Being Independent is a Great Thing: Subjective Evaluations of Self-Employment and Hierarchy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 362-383, May.
    10. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 402-435.
    11. Marc Le Menestrel & Bertrand Lemaire, 2002. "Additive utility with intransitive indifference and without independence: A homogeneous case," Economics Working Papers 628, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    12. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2005. "Beyond outcomes: measuring procedural utility," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(1), pages 90-111, January.
    13. Karelaia, Natalia, 2006. "Thirst for confirmation in multi-attribute choice: Does search for consistency impair decision performance?," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 128-143, May.
    14. Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, "undated". "Do Workers Enjoy Procedural Utility?," IEW - Working Papers 127, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gambling; Expected utility; Process utility; Rationality; Consequentialism;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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