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Subjective Risk, Confidence, and Ambiguity

  • Traeger, Christian P.

The paper incorporates qualitative differences of probabilistic beliefs into a rational (or normatively motivated) decision framework. Probabilistic beliefs can range from objective probabilities to pure guesstimates. The decision maker in the present model takes into account his confidence in beliefs when evaluating general uncertain situations. From an axiomatic point of view, the approach stays as close as possible to the widespread von Neumann-Morgenstern framework. The resulting representation uses only basic tools from risk analysis, but employs them recursively. The paper extends the concept of smooth ambiguity aversion to a more general notion of aversion to the subjectivity of belief. As a special case, the framework permits a threefold disentanglement of intertemporal substitutability, Arrow-Pratt risk aversion, and smooth ambiguity aversion. A decision maker’s preferences can nest a variety of widespread decision criteria, which are selected according to his confidence in the uncertainty assessment of a particular setting.

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Paper provided by Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series with number qt0gw7t7vn.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt0gw7t7vn
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  1. Uzi Segal, 1989. "Two-Stage Lotteries Without the Reduction Axiom," UCLA Economics Working Papers 552, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. David Schmeidler, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7662, David K. Levine.
  3. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 185-200, January.
  4. Grant, Simon & Chateauneuf, A. & Eichberger, J., 2002. "Choice under Uncertainty with the Best and Worst in Mind: Neo-additive Capacities," Working Papers 2002-10, Rice University, Department of Economics.
  5. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2006. "Dynamic Variational Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 1, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  6. Weil, Philippe, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42, February.
  7. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  8. Kyoungwon Seo, 2009. "Ambiguity and Second-Order Belief," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1575-1605, 09.
  9. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2005. "A Smooth Model of Decision Making under Ambiguity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1849-1892, November.
  10. Miao, Jianjun & Hayashi, Takashi, 2011. "Intertemporal substitution and recursive smooth ambiguity preferences," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(3), September.
  11. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1972. "Continuity properties of a von Neumann-Morgenstern utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 45-57, February.
  12. Ghirardato, Paolo & Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo, 2004. "Differentiating ambiguity and ambiguity attitude," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 133-173, October.
  13. Klibanoff, Peter & Marinacci, Massimo & Mukerji, Sujoy, 2009. "Recursive smooth ambiguity preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 930-976, May.
  14. Ergin, Haluk & Gul, Faruk, 2009. "A theory of subjective compound lotteries," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 899-929, May.
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