IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Rationality and uncertainty


  • Andrew Postlewaite

    () (University of Pennsylvania)

  • David Schmeidler

    () (Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya and Tel Aviv University)


Experimental psychologists and economists construct an individual or interactive decision situation in the laboratory. They find non-negligible differences between the observed behavior of participants and the theoretically implied behavior. We refer here to the expected utility theory and to strategic equilibrium in non-cooperative game theory. We comment on the question whether rationality, implies these theoretical behaviors and whether the non-negligible differences as above imply that participants in experiments are irrational. We also comment on the relation between rationality and consistency, in particular in situations of uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Postlewaite & David Schmeidler, 2012. "Rationality and uncertainty," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 120(3), pages 289-294.
  • Handle: RePEc:vep:journl:y:2012:v:120:i:3:p:289-294

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Yes

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aiyar, Shekhar & Dalgaard, Carl-Johan, 2009. "Accounting for productivity: Is it OK to assume that the world is Cobb-Douglas?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 290-303, June.
    2. Guvenen, Fatih, 2006. "Reconciling conflicting evidence on the elasticity of intertemporal substitution: A macroeconomic perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1451-1472, October.
    3. Kent Smetters, 2003. "The (Interesting) Dynamic Properties of the Neoclassical Growth Model with CES Production," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(3), pages 697-707, July.
    4. Lutfi Erden & Randall G. Holcombe, 2005. "The Effects of Public Investment on Private Investment in Developing Economies," Public Finance Review, , vol. 33(5), pages 575-602, September.
    5. Carlo Favero, 2005. "Consumption, Wealth, the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution and Long-Run Stock Market Returns," Working Papers 291, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Attanasio, Orazio P & Browning, Martin, 1995. "Consumption over the Life Cycle and over the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1118-1137, December.
    7. Duffy, John & Papageorgiou, Chris, 2000. "A Cross-Country Empirical Investigation of the Aggregate Production Function Specification," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 87-120, March.
    8. Duggal, Vijaya G. & Saltzman, Cynthia & Klein, Lawrence R., 2007. "Infrastructure and productivity: An extension to private infrastructure and it productivity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 485-502, October.
    9. Futagami, Koichi & Morita, Yuichi & Shibata, Akihisa, 1993. " Dynamic Analysis of an Endogenous Growth Model with Public Capital," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 607-625, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Richter & Jörg Schiller & Harris Schlesinger, 2014. "Behavioral insurance: Theory and experiments," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 85-96, April.

    More about this item


    Biases; Decision making; Bayesian; Behavioral Economics; Uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty


    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:vep:journl:y:2012:v:120:i:3:p:289-294. 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: (Vep - Vita e Pensiero). 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.