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A Measure of Rationality and Welfare

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  • Jose Apesteguia
  • Miguel Ángel Ballester

Abstract

There is ample evidence to show that choice behavior often deviates from the classical principle of maximization. This evidence raises at least two important questions: (i) how severe the deviation is and (ii) which method is the best for extracting relevant information from the choices of the individual for the purposes of welfare analysis. In this paper we address these two questions by proposing a set of foundational conditions on which to build a proper measure of the rationality of individuals, and enable individual welfare analysis of potentially inconsistent subjects, all based on standard revealed preference data. In our first result, we show that there is a unique measure of rationality that satisfies all of the proposed axioms: the weighted-loss indices. In the second part of the paper, we study some relevant properties of weighted-loss indices.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Apesteguia & Miguel Ángel Ballester, 2010. "A Measure of Rationality and Welfare," Working Papers 467, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:467
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2007. "Beyond Revealed Preference Choice Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics," Discussion Papers 07-031, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    2. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2009. "Beyond Revealed Preference: Choice-Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 51-104.
    3. Masatlioglu, Yusufcan & Ok, Efe A., 2005. "Rational choice with status quo bias," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 1-29, March.
    4. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
    5. Jose Apesteguia & Miguel A. Ballester & Rosa Ferrer, 2011. "On the Justice of Decision Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-16.
    6. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2012. "Revealed Attention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2183-2205, August.
    7. Chambers, Christopher P. & Hayashi, Takashi, 2012. "Choice and individual welfare," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(5), pages 1818-1849.
    8. Walter Bossert & Yves Sprumont, 2009. "Non-Deteriorating Choice," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(302), pages 337-363, April.
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    11. Halevy, Yoram & Persitz, Dotan & Zrill, Lanny, 2012. "Parametric Recoverability of Preferences," Microeconomics.ca working papers yoram_halevy-2012-20, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Aug 2015.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Katherine Baldiga & Jerry Green, 2013. "Assent-maximizing social choice," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(2), pages 439-460, February.
    2. Ghosal, Sayantan & Dalton, Patricio, 2013. "Characterizing Behavioral Decisions with Choice Data," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 107, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    3. Apesteguia, Jose & Ballester, Miguel A., 2013. "Choice by sequential procedures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 90-99.
    4. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2012. "Revealed Attention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2183-2205, August.
    5. Abi Adams, 2015. "Mutually consistent revealed preference bounds," IFS Working Papers W15/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    6. 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.
    7. Tugce Cuhadaroglu, 2015. "Choosing on Influence," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 201504, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
    8. Pawel Dziewulski, 2018. "Just-noticeable difference as a behavioural foundation of the critical cost-efficiency," Economics Series Working Papers 848, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    9. Garth Heutel, 2017. "Prospect Theory and Energy Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 23692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. repec:eee:jetheo:v:172:y:2017:i:c:p:163-201 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:kap:theord:v:83:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11238-017-9590-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima, 2015. "Completing Incomplete Revealed Preference Under Limited Attention," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 285-299, September.
    13. Kohei Shiozawa, 2015. "Note on goodness-of-fit measures for the revealed preference test: The computational complexity of the minimum cost index," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2455-2461.
    14. Halevy, Yoram & Persitz, Dotan & Zrill, Lanny, 2012. "Parametric Recoverability of Preferences," Microeconomics.ca working papers yoram_halevy-2012-20, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Aug 2015.
    15. Mark Dean & Daniel Martin, 2011. "Testing for Rationality with Consumption Data: Demographics and Heterogeneity," Working Papers 2011-11, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    16. Sophie Bade, 2016. "Pareto-optimal matching allocation mechanisms for boundedly rational agents," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 47(3), pages 501-510, October.
    17. Chambers, Christopher P. & Hayashi, Takashi, 2012. "Choice and individual welfare," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(5), pages 1818-1849.
    18. Horan, Sean & Sprumont, Yves, 2016. "Welfare criteria from choice: An axiomatic analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 56-70.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    rationality; Individual Welfare; Revealed Preference;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General

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