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Axiomatization of a Preference for Most Probably Winner

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  • Pavlo Blavatskyy

Abstract

In binary choice between discrete outcome lotteries, an individual may prefer lottery L1 to lottery L2 when the probability that L1 delivers a better outcome than L2 is higher than the probability that L2 delivers a better outcome than L1. Such a preference can be rationalized by three standard axioms (completeness, continuity and first order stochastic dominance) and two less standard ones (weak independence and a fanning-in). A preference for the most probable winner can be represented by a skew-symmetric bilinear utility function. Such a utility function has the structure of a regret theory when lottery outcomes are perceived as ordinal and the assumption of regret aversion is replaced with a preference for a win. The empirical evidence supporting the proposed system of axioms is discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Pavlo Blavatskyy, 2004. "Axiomatization of a Preference for Most Probably Winner," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp226, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp226
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    File URL: http://www.cerge-ei.cz/pdf/wp/Wp226.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cubitt, Robin P & Sugden, Robert, 2001. "Dynamic Decision-Making under Uncertainty: An Experimental Investigation of Choices between Accumulator Gambles," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 103-128, March.
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    3. Kagel, John H & MacDonald, Don N & Battalio, Raymond C, 1990. "Tests of "Fanning Out" of Indifference Curves: Results from Animal and Human Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 912-921, September.
    4. John D. Hey & Chris Orme, 2018. "Investigating Generalizations Of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Experiments in Economics Decision Making and Markets, chapter 3, pages 63-98, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Bernasconi, Michele, 1994. "Nonlinear Preferences and Two-Stage Lotteries: Theories and Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(422), pages 54-70, January.
    6. Conlisk, John, 1989. "Three Variants on the Allais Example," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 392-407, June.
    7. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
    8. Harless, David W & Camerer, Colin F, 1994. "The Predictive Utility of Generalized Expected Utility Theories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1251-1289, November.
    9. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. "Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pavlo Blavatskyy, 2006. "Axiomatization of a Preference for Most Probable Winner," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 60(1), pages 17-33, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    EUT; Axiomatization; Stochastic dominance; Betweenness; Weak independence; Fanning-in; Regret theory.;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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