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Allais, Ellsberg, and Preferences for Hedging

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  • Mark Dean
  • Pietro Ortoleva

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Dean & Pietro Ortoleva, 2012. "Allais, Ellsberg, and Preferences for Hedging," Working Papers 2012-2, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:2012-2
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthew Kovach, 2021. "Ambiguity and Partial Bayesian Updating," Papers 2102.11429, arXiv.org.
    2. Simone Cerreia‐Vioglio & David Dillenberger & Pietro Ortoleva, 2015. "Cautious Expected Utility and the Certainty Effect," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 693-728, March.
    3. MacLeod, W Bentley, 2016. "Human capital: Linking behavior to rational choice via dual process theory," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 20-31.
    4. Jean Baccelli, 2018. "Risk attitudes in axiomatic decision theory: a conceptual perspective," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 84(1), pages 61-82, January.
    5. DeJarnette, Patrick & Dillenberger, David & Gottlieb, Daniel & Ortoleva, Pietro, 2020. "Time lotteries and stochastic impatience," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 102564, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Aurélien Baillon & Olivier L’Haridon, 2021. "Discrete Arrow–Pratt indexes for risk and uncertainty," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 72(4), pages 1375-1393, November.
    7. David Dillenberger & Andrew Postlewaite & Kareen Rozen, 2011. "Optimism and Pessimism with Expected Utility, Third Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-001, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 26 Dec 2012.
    8. Larry G. Epstein & Yoram Halevy, 2019. "Hard-to-Interpret Signals," Working Papers tecipa-634, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    9. Patrick DeJarnette & David Dillenberger & Daniel Gottlieb & Pietro Ortoleva, 2014. "Time Lotteries, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 15-026v2, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 12 Jan 2018.
    10. Patrick DeJarnette & David Dillenberger & Daniel Gottlieb & Pietro Ortoleva, 2020. "Time Lotteries and Stochastic Impatience," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(2), pages 619-656, March.
    11. Wakker, Peter P. & Yang, Jingni, 2019. "A powerful tool for analyzing concave/convex utility and weighting functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 143-159.
    12. Evren, Özgür, 2019. "Recursive non-expected utility: Connecting ambiguity attitudes to risk preferences and the level of ambiguity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 285-307.
    13. David Dillenberger & Andrew Postlewaite & Kareen Rozen, 2011. "Optimism and Pessimism with Expected Utility, Fourth Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-068, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Nov 2013.
    14. David Dillenberger & Andrew Postlewaite & Kareen Rozen, 2013. "Optimism and Pessimism with Expected Utility, Fifth Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 15-009, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 23 Feb 2015.
    15. Jean Baccelli, 2018. "Risk Attitudes in Axiomatic Decision Theory: a Conceptual Perspective," Post-Print hal-01620886, HAL.
    16. Bommier, Antoine, 2017. "A dual approach to ambiguity aversion," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 104-118.
    17. Stefan Trautmann & Peter P. Wakker, 2018. "Making the Anscombe-Aumann approach to ambiguity suitable for descriptive applications," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 83-116, February.
    18. Ghirardato, Paolo & Pennesi, Daniele, 2020. "A general theory of subjective mixtures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    19. Abdellaoui, Mohammed & Wakker, Peter P., 2020. "Savage for dummies and experts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 186(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ambiguity Aversion; Allais Paradox; Ellsberg Paradox; Hedging; Multiple Priors; Subjective Mixture; Probability Weighting; Rank Dependent Expected Utility;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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