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Risk in a Simple Temporal Framework for Expected Utility Theory and for SKAT, the Stages of Knowledge Ahead Theory

  • Robin Pope

    ()

  • Reinhard Selten

The paper re-expresses arguments against the normative validity of expected utility theory in Robin Pope (1983, 1991a, 1991b, 1985, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007). These concern the neglect of the evolving stages of knowledge ahead (stages of what the future will bring). Such evolution is fundamental to an experience of risk, yet not consistently incorporated even in axiomatised temporal versions of expected utility. Its neglect entails a disregard of emotional and financial effects on well-being before a particular risk is resolved. These are arguments are complemented with an analysis of the essential uniqueness property in the context of temporal and atemporal expected utility theory and a proof of the absence of a limit property natural in an axiomatised approach to temporal expected utility theory. Problems of the time structure of risk are investigated in a simple temporal framework restricted to a subclass of temporal lotteries in the sense of David Kreps and Evan Porteus (1978). This subclass is narrow but wide enough to discuss basic issues. It will be shown that there are serious objections against the modification of expected utility theory axiomatised by Kreps and Porteus (1978, 1979). By contrast the umbrella theory proffered by Pope that she has now termed SKAT, the Stages of Knowledge Ahead Theory, offers an epistemically consistent framework within which to construct particular models to deal with particular decision situations. A model by Caplin and Leahy (2001) will also be discussed and contrasted with the modelling within SKAT (Pope, Leopold and Leitner 2006).

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Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse27_2009.

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Length: 45
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse27_2009
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  1. Selten, Reinhard & Abdolkarim Sadrieh & Klaus Abbink, 1995. "Money does Not Induce Risk Neutral Behavior, but Binary Lotteries Do even Worse," Discussion Paper Serie B 343, University of Bonn, Germany.
  2. Robin E. Pope, 2001. "Evidence of Deliberate Violations of Dominance Due to Secondary Satisfaction - Attraction to Chance," Homo Oeconomicus, Institute of SocioEconomics, vol. 18, pages 47-76.
  3. Pope, Robin E., 1991. "The delusion of certainty in Savage's sure-thing principle," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 209-241, June.
  4. DREZE, Jacques H. & MODIGLIANI, Franco, . "Cosumption decisions under uncertainty," CORE Discussion Papers RP 119, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Spence, Michael & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1972. "The Effect of the Timing of Consumption Decisions and the Resolution of Lotteries on the Choice of Lotteries," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(2), pages 401-03, March.
  6. Harsanyi,John C., 1986. "Rational Behaviour and Bargaining Equilibrium in Games and Social Situations," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521311830, Junio.
  7. Scitovsky, Tibor, 1981. "The Desire for Excitement in Modern Society," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(1), pages 3-13.
  8. Herbert A. Simon, 1955. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 99-118.
  9. Kreps, David M. & Porteus, Evan L., 1979. "Temporal von neumann-morgenstern and induced preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 81-109, February.
  10. Pope, Robin, 2004. "Biases from omitted risk effects in standard gamble utilities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 695-735, July.
  11. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
  12. Pope, Robin & Leitner, Johannes & Leopold-Wildburger, Ulrike, 2009. "Expected utility versus the changes in knowledge ahead," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 199(3), pages 892-901, December.
  13. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  14. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory and Anticipatory Feelings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 55-79.
  15. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  16. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
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