IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

On path independent stochastic choice


  • Ahn, David S.

    () (Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley)

  • Echenique, Federico

    () (Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology)

  • Saito, Kota

    () (Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology)


We investigate stochastic choice when only the average and not the entire distribution of choices is observable, focusing attention on the popular Luce model. Choice is path independent if it is recursive, in the sense that choosing from a menu can be broken up into choosing from smaller submenus. While an important property, path independence is known to be incompatible with continuous choice. The main result of our paper is that a natural modification of path independence, that we call partial path independence, is not only compatible with continuity but ends up characterizing the ubiquitous Luce (or Logit) rule.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahn, David S. & Echenique, Federico & Saito, Kota, 2018. "On path independent stochastic choice," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 13(1), January.
  • Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:2653

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Antoine Billot & Itzhak Gilboa & Dov Samet & David Schmeidler, 2005. "Probabilities as Similarity-Weighted Frequencies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(4), pages 1125-1136, July.
    2. Chambers, Christopher P. & Hayashi, Takashi, 2010. "Bayesian consistent belief selection," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(1), pages 432-439, January.
    3. Kalai, Ehud & Megiddo, Nimrod, 1980. "Path Independent Choices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 781-784, April.
    4. Machina, Mark J & Parks, Robert P, 1981. "On Path Independent Randomized Choice: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1345-1347, September.
    5. Chambers, Christopher P., 2008. "Consistent representative democracy," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 348-363, March.
    6. Faruk Gul & Paulo Natenzon & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2014. "Random Choice as Behavioral Optimization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 1873-1912, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Luce model; stochastic choice; logit model; path independence;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory


    Access and download statistics


    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:the:publsh:2653. 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: (Martin J. Osborne). General contact details of provider: .

    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.