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Allais, Ellsberg, and Preferences for Hedging

  • Mark Dean
  • Pietro Ortoleva

We study the relation between ambiguity aversion and the Allais paradox. To this end, we introduce a novel de nition of hedging which applies to objective lotteries as well as to uncertain acts, and we use it to de ne a novel axiom that captures a preference for hedging which generalizes the one of Schmeidler (1989). We argue how this generalized axiom captures both aversion to ambiguity, and attraction towards certainty for objective lotteries. We show that this axiom, together with other standard ones, is equivalent to to two representations both of which generalize the MaxMin Expected Utility model of Gilboa and Schmeidler (1989). In both, the agent reacts to ambiguity using multiple priors, but does not use expected utility to evaluate objective lotteries. In our rst representation, the agent treats objective lotteries as `ambiguous objects,' and use a set of priors to evaluate them. In the second, equivalent representation, lotteries are evaluated by distorting probabilities as in the Rank-Dependent Utility model, but using the worst from a set of such distortions. Finally, we show how a preference for hedging is not sucient to guarantee an Ellsberg-like behavior if the agent violate expected utility for objective lotteries. We then provide an axiom that guarantees that this is the case, and nd an associated representation in which the agent rst maps acts to an objective lottery using the worst of the priors in a set; then evaluates this lottery using the worst distortion from a set of concave Rank-Dependent Utility functionals.

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Paper provided by Brown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-2.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:2012-2
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912

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  1. Alain Chateauneuf & Fabio Macheronni & Massimo Marinacci & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2005. "Monotone continuous multiple priors," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00177057, HAL.
  2. Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Luigi Montrucchio, 2008. "Uncertainty Averse Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 77, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  3. Vincent Feltkamp & Yoram Halevy, 1999. "- A Bayesian Approach To Uncertainty Aversion," Working Papers. Serie AD 1999-14, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  4. Halevy, Yoram, 2005. "Ellsberg Revisited: an Experimental Study," Microeconomics.ca working papers halevy-05-07-26-11-51-13, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Feb 2014.
  5. Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Paolo Ghirardato & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Marciano Siniscalchi, 2011. "Rational preferences under ambiguity," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 341-375, October.
  6. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
  7. Efe A. Ok & Pietro Ortoleva & Gil Riella, 2012. "Incomplete Preferences Under Uncertainty: Indecisiveness in Beliefs versus Tastes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(4), pages 1791-1808, 07.
  8. Sujoy Mukerji & Peter Klibanoff, 2002. "A Smooth Model of Decision,Making Under Ambiguity," Economics Series Working Papers 113, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. Alain Chateauneuf & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2005. "Monotone continuous multiple priors," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 973-982, November.
  10. Dillenberger, David, 2008. "Preferences for One-Shot Resolution of Uncertainty and Allais-Type Behavior," MPRA Paper 8342, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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