IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

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

in new window

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

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  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. Safra, Zvi & Segal, Uzi, 1998. "Constant Risk Aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 19-42, November.
  3. Enrico Diecidue & Ulrich Schmidt & Horst Zank, 2008. "Parametric Weighting Functions," Kiel Working Papers 1395, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Machina,Mark & Schmeidler,David, 1991. "A more robust definition of subjective probability," Discussion Paper Serie A 365, University of Bonn, Germany.
  5. Dillenberger, David, 2008. "Preferences for One-Shot Resolution of Uncertainty and Allais-Type Behavior," MPRA Paper 8342, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Sujoy Mukerji & Peter Klibanoff, 2002. "A Smooth Model of Decision,Making Under Ambiguity," Economics Series Working Papers 113, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Aurelien Baillon & Laetitia Placido & Peter P. Wakker, 2011. "The Rich Domain of Uncertainty: Source Functions and Their Experimental Implementation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 695-723, April.
  8. Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Paolo Ghirardato & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Marciano Siniscalchi, 2011. "Rational preferences under ambiguity," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 48(2), pages 341-375, October.
  9. Barry Sopher & Mattison Narramore, 2000. "Stochastic Choice and Consistency in Decision Making Under Uncertainty: An Experimental Study," Departmental Working Papers 199626, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  10. Itzhak Gilboa & Massimo Marinacci, 2011. "Ambiguity and the Bayesian Paradigm," Working Papers 379, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  11. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00177057 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Uzi Segal, 1985. "The Ellsberg Paradox and Risk Aversion: An Anticipated Utility Approach," UCLA Economics Working Papers 362, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Yoram Halevy, 2007. "Ellsberg Revisited: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 503-536, 03.
  14. Fabio Maccheroni, 2002. "Maxmin under risk," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 19(4), pages 823-831.
  15. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  16. Yoram Halevy & Vincent Feltkamp, . "A Bayesian Approach to Uncentainty Aversion," Penn CARESS Working Papers f17f3e2c6ad93e4b53fd58fc9, Penn Economics Department.
  17. David Schmeidler, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7662, David K. Levine.
  18. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell & Peter Klibanoff & Emre Ozdenoren, 1998. "Maximum Expected Utility over Savage Acts with a Set of Priors," Discussion Papers 1218, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  19. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2006. "Ambiguity Aversion, Robustness, and the Variational Representation of Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1447-1498, November.
  20. Mohammed Abdellaoui, 2002. "A Genuine Rank-Dependent Generalization of the Von Neumann-Morgenstern Expected Utility Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 717-736, March.
  21. Sopher & Narramore, 2000. "Stochastic Choice and Consistency in Decision Making Under Risk: An Experimental Study," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 323-349, June.
  22. Uzi Segal, 2000. "Two Stage Lotteries Without the Reduction Axiom," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7599, David K. Levine.
  23. Paolo Ghirardato & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Marciano Siniscalchi, 2001. "A subjective spin on roulette wheels," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 17-2001, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research, revised Aug 2001.
  24. Larry G. Epstein, 1999. "A Definition of Uncertainty Aversion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 579-608.
  25. Mark J. Machina & David Schmeidler, 1994. "Bayes Without Bernoulli: Simple Conditions for Probabilistically Sophisticated Choice," Discussion Papers 1088, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  26. Paolo Ghirardato & Marciano Siniscalchi, 2010. "A more robust definition of multiple priors," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 144, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  27. Wakker, Peter P, 2001. "Testing and Characterizing Properties of Nonadditive Measures through Violations of the Sure-Thing Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1039-59, July.
  28. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Olivier l’Haridon & Horst Zank, 2009. "Separating Curvature and Elevation: A Parametric Weighting Function," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0901, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  29. Diecidue, Enrico & Wakker, Peter P, 2001. "On the Intuition of Rank-Dependent Utility," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 281-98, November.
  30. 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.
  31. Hong Chew Soo & Karni Edi, 1994. "Choquet Expected Utility with a Finite State Space: Commutativity and Act-Independence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 469-479, April.
  32. 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.
  33. Chateauneuf, Alain, 1999. "Comonotonicity axioms and rank-dependent expected utility theory for arbitrary consequences," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 21-45, August.
  34. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
  35. Nakamura Y., 1996. "Rank dependent utility for arbitrary consequnce spaces," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 54-54, February.
  36. Gul, Faruk, 1991. "A Theory of Disappointment Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 667-86, May.
  37. repec:hal:journl:hal-00609214 is not listed on IDEAS
  38. Cerreia-Vioglio, S. & Maccheroni, F. & Marinacci, M. & Montrucchio, L., 2011. "Uncertainty averse preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(4), pages 1275-1330, July.
  39. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:2012-2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Brown Economics Webmaster)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.