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Indecisiveness aversion and preference for commitment

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  • Eric Danan

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  • Ani Guerdjikova

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  • Alexander Zimper

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Abstract

We present a system of behavioral axioms for preferences over menus that is motivated by three assumptions. First, the decision maker is uncertain ex ante (i.e. at the time of choosing a menu) about her ex post (i.e. at the time of choosing an option within her chosen menu) preferences over options, and she anticipates that this subjective uncertainty will only resolve after the ex post stage. Second, she is averse to ex post indecisiveness (i.e. to having to choose between options that she cannot rank with certainty). Third, when evaluating a menu she discards options that are dominated (i.e. inferior to another option whatever her ex post preferences may be) and restricts attention to the undominated ones. Under these assumptions, the decision maker has a preference for commitment in the sense of preferring menus with fewer undominated alternatives. We derive a representation in which the decision maker's uncertainty about her ex post preferences is captured by means of a subjective state space, which in turn determines which options are undominated in a given menu, and in which the decision maker fears, whenever indecisive, to choose an option that will turn out to be the worst (undominated) one according to the realization of her ex post preferences.
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Suggested Citation

  • Eric Danan & Ani Guerdjikova & Alexander Zimper, 2012. "Indecisiveness aversion and preference for commitment," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 72(1), pages 1-13, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:72:y:2012:i:1:p:1-13 DOI: 10.1007/s11238-011-9254-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Özgür Evren, 2012. "Scalarization Methods and Expected Multi-Utility Representations," Working Papers w0174, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    2. Miguel Costa-Gomes & Carlos Cueva & Georgios Gerasimou & Matus Tejiscak, 2014. "Choice, Deferral and Consistency," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 201416, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews, revised 26 Dec 2016.
    3. Evren, Özgür, 2014. "Scalarization methods and expected multi-utility representations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 30-63.
    4. Fabrice Le Lec & Marianne Lumeau & Benoît Tarroux, 2016. "Choice or information overload ?," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 2016-07, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    5. Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Cueva, Carlos & Gerasimou, Georgios, 2014. "Choice, Deferral and Consistency," SIRE Discussion Papers 2015-17, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    6. McCarthy, David & Mikkola, Kalle & Thomas, Teruji, 2017. "Representation of strongly independent preorders by sets of scalar-valued functions," MPRA Paper 79284, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Cueva, Carlos & Gerasimou, Georgios, 2014. "Choice, Deferral and Consistency," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-17, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Opportunity sets; Subjective uncertainty; Indecisiveness; Dominance; D81;

    JEL classification:

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

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