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On The Complexity of Rationalizing Behavior

  • Jose Apesteguia
  • Miguel Angel Ballester

We study the complexity of rationalizing choice behavior. We do so by analyzing two polar cases, and a number of intermediate ones. In our most structured case, that is where choice behavior is defined in universal choice domains and satisfies the "weak axiom of revealed preference," Finding the complete preorder rationalizing choice behavior is a simple matter. In the polar case, where no restriction whatsoever is imposed, either on choice behavior or on choice domain, Finding the complete preorders that rationalize behavior turns out to be intractable. We show that the task of finding the rationalizing complete preorders is equivalent to a graph problem. This allows the search for existing algorithms in the graph theory literature, for the rationalization of choice.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 320.

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:320
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  1. Rubinstein,Ariel, 2000. "Economics and Language," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521593069.
  2. Ballester, Coralio, 2004. "NP-completeness in hedonic games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-30, October.
  3. Gil Kalai & Ariel Rubinstein & Ran Spiegler, 2002. "Rationalizing Choice Functions By Multiple Rationales," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2481-2488, November.
  4. Enriqueta Aragones & Itzhak Gilboa & Andrew Postlewaite & David Schmeidler, 2004. "Fact-Free Learning," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1491, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    • Itzhak Gilboa & Enriqueta Aragones & Andrew Postlewaite & David Schmeidler, 2005. "Fact-Free Learning," Post-Print hal-00481243, HAL.
    • Enriqueta Aragones & Itzhak Gilboa & Andrew Postlewaite & David Schmeidler, 2003. "Fact-Free Learning," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-023, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    • Enriqueta Aragones & Itzhak Gilboa & Andrew Postlewaite & David Schmeidler, 2003. "Fact-Free Learning," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-002, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2004.
  5. Xu, Yongsheng & Zhou, Lin, 2007. "Rationalizability of choice functions by game trees," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 548-556, May.
  6. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
  7. repec:oup:restud:v:38:y:1971:i:115:p:307-17 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Yuval Salant, 2003. "Limited Computational Resources Favor Rationality," Discussion Paper Series dp320, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  9. Yuval Salant, 2003. "Limited Computational Resources Favor Rationality," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 666156000000000082,
  10. S. Illeris & G. Akehurst, 2001. "Introduction," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 1-4, January.
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