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Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation and Some Implications


  • Ghirardato, Paolo
  • Marinacci, M.


The theory of subjective expected utility (SEU) has been recently extended to allow ambiguity to matter for choice. We propose a notion of absolute ambiguity aversion by building on a notion of comparative ambiguity aversion. We characterize it for a preference model which encompasses some of the most popular models in the literature. We next build on these ideas to provide a definition of unambiguous act and event, and show the characterization of the latter. As an illustration, we consider the classical Ellsberg 3-color urn problem and find that the notions developed in the paper provide intuitive answers.

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  • Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, M., 1997. "Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation and Some Implications," Working Papers 1026, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:1026

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sujoy Mukerji & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2001. "Ambiguity Aversion and Incompleteness of Financial Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(4), pages 883-904.
    2. Gajdos, Thibault & Tallon, Jean-Marc & Vergnaud, Jean-Christophe, 2004. "Decision making with imprecise probabilistic information," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 647-681, September.
    3. Gajdos, T. & Hayashi, T. & Tallon, J.-M. & Vergnaud, J.-C., 2008. "Attitude toward imprecise information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 27-65, May.
    4. Laure Cabantous & Denis Hilton, 2006. "De l'aversion à l'ambiguïté aux attitudes face à l'ambiguïté. Les apports d'une perspective psychologique en économie," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(2), pages 259-280.


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