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Transitive Regret

  • Sushil Bikhchandani


  • Uzi Segal


    (Boston College)

Preferences may arise from regret, i.e., from comparisons with alternatives forgone by the decision maker. We ask whether regret-based behavior is consistent with non-expected utility theories of transitive choice. We show that the answer is no. If choices are governed by ex ante regret and elation then non-expected utility preferences must be intransitive.

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Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 711.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: 04 Sep 2009
Date of revision: 24 Oct 2009
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:711
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  1. Hayashi, Takashi, 2008. "Regret aversion and opportunity dependence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 242-268, March.
  2. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1987. "Some implications of a more general form of regret theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 270-287, April.
  3. Bagwell, Laurie Simon & Bernheim, B Douglas, 1996. "Veblen Effects in a Theory of Conspicuous Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 349-73, June.
  4. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
  5. repec:oup:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:1:p:161-188 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2008. "Social Decision Theory: Choosing within and between Groups," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 71, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  7. Fishburn, Peter C & LaValle, Irving H, 1988. "Context-Dependent Choice with Nonlinear and Nontransitive Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1221-39, September.
  8. Todd Sarver, 2008. "Anticipating Regret: Why Fewer Options May Be Better," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(2), pages 263-305, 03.
  9. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1982. "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 805-24, December.
  10. Sugden Robert, 1993. "An Axiomatic Foundation for Regret Theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 159-180, June.
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