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A Characterization of Sequential Rationalizability

  • Jose Apesteguia
  • Miguel Angel Ballester

A choice function is sequentially rationalizable if there is an ordered collection of asymmetric binary relations that identifies the selected alternative in every choice problem. We propose a property, F-consistency, and show that it characterizes the notion of sequential rationalizability. F-consistency is a testable property that highlights the behavioral aspects implicit in sequentially rationalizable choice. Further, our characterization result provides a novel tool with which to study how other behavioral concepts are related to sequential rationalizability, and establish a priori unexpected implications. In particular, we show that the concept of rationalizability by game trees, which, in principle, had little to do with sequential rationalizability, is a refinement of the latter. Every choice function that is rationalizable by a game tree is also sequentially rationalizable. Finally, we show that some prominent voting mechanisms are also sequentially rationalizable.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 345.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:345
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  1. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
  2. Rubinstein, Ariel & Salant, Yuval, 2006. "A model of choice from lists," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 3-17, March.
  3. Gil Kalai & Ariel Rubinstein & Ran Spiegler, 2001. "Rationalizing Choice Functions by Multiple Rationales," Discussion Paper Series dp278, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  4. Dutta, Bhaskar & Jackson, Matthew O. & Le Breton, Michel, 2002. "Voting by Successive Elimination and Strategic Candidacy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 190-218, March.
  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.
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