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

Cognition in Seemingly Riskless Choices and Judgments

  • Louis Lévy-Garboua
  • Claude Montmarquette

The assumption of given and known preferences and possibilities so common in economic theory stands in contradiction with the kind of unsystematic change that charaterizes many experimental and real situations. Consequently the theory misspecifies rational choice and generates many puzzles relating to marginal analysis, sunk costs, judgments of fairness, the endowment effect, etc. We instillate rational cognition and learning in seemingly riskless choices and judgments. Preferences and possibilities are given in a stochastic sense and based on revisable expectations. The theory predicts experimental preference reversals and passes a sharp econometric test of the status quo bias drawn from a field study. En sciences économiques, l'hypothèse que les préférences et les possibilités sont connues et données est largement contredite par des changements peu systématiques observés dans plusieurs expériences et situations réelles. La conséquence est que la théorie ne semble pas spécifier correctement la rationalité des choix et pose aux économistes plusieurs paradoxes reliés à l'analyse marginale, aux coûts historiques, sur les jugements de justice, sur les effets de dotation ou de statu quo, etc. Dans cette étude, nous concidérons la rationalité cognitive et l'apprentissage dans des situations de choix et de jugements apparemment sans risque. Les préférences et les possibilités sont données dans un sens stochastique et elles sont basées sur les anticipations qui sont révisées. La théorie proposée prédit des renversements de préférence dans les expériences et passe avec succès un test économétrique sur données réelles du paradoxe du biais du statu quo.

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 CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 96s-01.

in new window

Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jan 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:96s-01
Contact details of provider: Postal:
1130 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, suite 1400, Montréal, Quéc, H3A 2M8

Phone: (514) 985-4000
Fax: (514) 985-4039
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. Louis Lévy-Garboua & Claude Montmarquette, 2004. "Reported job satisfaction : What does it mean?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00203197, HAL.
  2. Louis Lévy-Garboua & Claude Montmarquette, 1995. "Une étude économétrique de la demande de théâtre sur données individuelles," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 121(5), pages 109-126.
  3. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  4. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  5. Jack L. Knetsch & J. A. Sinden, 1984. "Willingness to Pay and Compensation Demanded: Experimental Evidence of an Unexpected Disparity in Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(3), pages 507-521.
  6. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  7. Levy-Garboua, L. & Blondel, S., 1995. "La decision comme argumentation," Papiers du Laboratoire de Microéconomie Appliquée 1995-03, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  8. Arkes, Hal R. & Blumer, Catherine, 1985. "The psychology of sunk cost," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 124-140, February.
  9. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-1061.
  10. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
  11. Frey, Bruno S. & Pommerehne, Werner W., 1993. "On the fairness of pricing -- An empirical survey among the general population," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 295-307, April.
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:cir:cirwor:96s-01. 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: (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.