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Risk, Ambiguity, and the Separation of Utility and Beliefs

  • Paolo Ghirardato
  • Massimo Marinacci

We introduce and characterize axiomatically a general model of static choice under uncertainty, which is possibly the weakest model in which a separation of cardinal utility and a representation of beliefs is achieved. Most of the popular non-expected utility models in the literature are special cases of it. To prove its usefulness, we show that the model can be used to generalize several well known results on the characterization of risk aversion. Elsewhere [15] we have shown that it can be fruitfully applied to the problem of characterizing a notion of ambiguity aversion, as the separation of utility and beliefs that we achieve can be used to identify and remove aspects of risk attitude from the decision maker's behavior.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 7616.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:7616
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  1. Nakamura, Yutaka, 1990. "Subjective expected utility with non-additive probabilities on finite state spaces," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 346-366, August.
  2. Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
  3. 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.
  4. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2000. "Range Convexity and Ambiguity Averse Preferences," Working Papers 1081, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. Dekel, Eddie, 1989. "Asset Demands without the Independence Axiom," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(1), pages 163-69, January.
  6. Alain Chateauneuf & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2000. "Diversification, Convex Preferences and Non-Empty Core," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0751, Econometric Society.
  7. David Schmeidler, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7662, David K. Levine.
  8. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  9. 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.
  10. Montrucchio, Luigi & Privileggi, Fabio, 1999. "On Fragility of Bubbles in Equilibrium Asset Pricing Models of Lucas-Type," POLIS Working Papers 5, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  11. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
  12. Machina, Mark J & Schmeidler, David, 1992. "A More Robust Definition of Subjective Probability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 745-80, July.
  13. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Gul, Faruk, 1991. "A Theory of Disappointment Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 667-86, May.
  17. Casadesus-Masanell, Ramon & Klibanoff, Peter & Ozdenoren, Emre, 2000. "Maxmin Expected Utility over Savage Acts with a Set of Priors," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 35-65, May.
  18. Yaari, Menahem E., 1969. "Some remarks on measures of risk aversion and on their uses," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 315-329, October.
  19. Gerard Debreu & Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1980. "Additively Decomposed Quasiconvex Functions," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 574, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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