IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Choquet rationality



    (California Institute of Technology)

  • LE BRETON, Michel

    (Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE), Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), 1348 Louvain la Neuve, Belgium)


We provide a characterization of the consequences of the assumption that a decision maker with a given utility function is Choquet rational: She maximizes expected utility, but possibly with respect to non-additive beliefs, so that her preferences are represented by Choquet expected utility (CEU). The characterization shows that this notion of rationality allows in generalto rationalize more choices than it is possible when beliefs have to be additive. More surprisingly, we find that a considerable restriction on the types of beliefs allowed does not change the set of rational actions. We then remark on the relation between the predictions of CEU model, of a similar model (the maxmin expected utility model), and those of subjective expected utility when the risk attitude of the decision maker is not known. We close with an application of the result to the definition of a solution concept (in the spirit of rationalizability) for strategic-form games.

Suggested Citation

  • GHIRARDATO, Paolo & LE BRETON, Michel, 1999. "Choquet rationality," CORE Discussion Papers 1999012, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:1999012

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Border, Kim C., 1992. "Revealed preference, stochastic dominance, and the expected utility hypothesis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 20-42, February.
    2. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2002. "Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 251-289, February.
    3. Eichberger, Jurgen & Kelsey, David, 1996. "Uncertainty Aversion and Preference for Randomisation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 31-43, October.
    4. Pearce, David G, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior and the Problem of Perfection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1029-1050, July.
    5. Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler, 1995. "Canonical Representation of Set Functions," Mathematics of Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 20(1), pages 197-212, February.
    6. Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
    7. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    8. Epstein, Larry G & Wang, Tan, 1996. ""Beliefs about Beliefs" without Probabilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1343-1373, November.
    9. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 1994. "A Course in Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650401, January.
    10. Chateauneuf, Alain & Jaffray, Jean-Yves, 1989. "Some characterizations of lower probabilities and other monotone capacities through the use of Mobius inversion," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 263-283, June.
    11. Dow James & Werlang Sergio Ribeiro Da Costa, 1994. "Nash Equilibrium under Knightian Uncertainty: Breaking Down Backward Induction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 305-324, December.
    12. Wakker, Peter, 1989. "Continuous subjective expected utility with non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-27, February.
    13. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    14. Machina, Mark J & Schmeidler, David, 1992. "A More Robust Definition of Subjective Probability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 745-780, July.
    15. Ebbe Hendon & Hans Jorgen Jacobsen & Birgitte Sloth & Torben Tranaes, 1995. "NASH Equilibrium in Lower Probabilities," Discussion Papers 95-09, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    16. Epstein, Larry G., 1997. "Preference, Rationalizability and Equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 1-29, March.
    17. Peter Kilbanoff, 1996. "Characterizing Uncertainty Aversion Through Preference for Mixtures," Discussion Papers 1159, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Yi-Chun Chen & Xiao Luo, 2012. "An indistinguishability result on rationalizability under general preferences," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 51(1), pages 1-12, September.
    2. Luo, Xiao & Ma, Chenghu, 2003. ""Agreeing to disagree" type results: a decision-theoretic approach," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 849-861, November.
    3. Xiao Luo & Yi-Chun Chen, 2004. "A Unified Approach to Information, Knowledge, and Stability," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 472, Econometric Society.
    4. Lo, Kin Chung, 2007. "Sharing beliefs about actions," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 123-133, March.
    5. Zimper, Alexander, 2004. "Dominance-Solvable Lattice Games," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 04-18, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    6. Alexander Zimper, 2007. "Strategic games with security and potential level players," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 63(1), pages 53-78, August.
    7. Zimper, Alexander, 2004. "On the existence of strategic solutions for games with security- and potential level players," Papers 04-04, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    8. Lo, Kin Chung, 2006. "Agreement and stochastic independence of belief functions," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 1-22, January.
    9. Alexander Zimper, 2005. "Equivalence between best responses and undominated strategies: a generalization from finite to compact strategy sets," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(7), pages 1-6.
    10. Zimper, Alexander, 2005. "Equivalence between best responses and undominated," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 05-08, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    11. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:3:y:2005:i:7:p:1-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Roman Kozhan, 2011. "Non-additive anonymous games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 40(2), pages 215-230, May.
    13. Lo, Kin Chung, 2002. "Correlated equilibrium under uncertainty," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 183-209, November.
    14. Silvia Bortot & Mario Fedrizzi & Silvio Giove, 2011. "Modelling fraud detection by attack trees and Choquet integral," DISA Working Papers 2011/09, Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy, revised 31 Aug 2011.
    15. Dominiak, Adam & Lee, Min Suk, 2017. "Coherent Dempster–Shafer equilibrium and ambiguous signals," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 42-54.
    16. Zimper, Alexander, 2006. "Uniqueness conditions for strongly point-rationalizable solutions to games with metrizable strategy sets," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 729-751, September.
    17. Luo, Xiao & Ma, Chenghu, 2001. "Stable equilibrium in beliefs in extensive games with perfect information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(11), pages 1801-1825, November.
    18. Denneberg, Dieter, 2002. "Conditional expectation for monotone measures, the discrete case," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 105-121, April.

    More about this item


    revealed preferences; rationalizability; belief functions; Choquetinte-grals;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:1999012. 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: (Alain GILLIS). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.