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Rationalizing Choice with Multi-Self Models

  • Attila Ambrus
  • Kareen Rozen

This paper studies a class of multi-self decision-making models proposed in economics, psychology, and marketing. In this class, choices arise from the set-dependent aggregation of a collection of utility functions, where the aggregation procedure satisfies some simple properties. We propose a method for characterizing the extent of irrationality in a choice behavior, and use this measure to provide a lower bound on the set of choice behaviors that can be rationalized with n utility functions. Under an additional assumption (scale-invariance), we show that generically at most five "reasons" are needed for every "mistake."

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Paper provided by Duke University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 12-11.

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Length: 42
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:12-11
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics Duke University 213 Social Sciences Building Box 90097 Durham, NC 27708-0097
Phone: (919) 660-1800
Fax: (919) 684-8974
Web page: http://econ.duke.edu/

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  1. Gil Kalai & Ariel Rubenstein & Ran Spiegler, 2001. "Rationalizing Choice Functions by Multiple Rationales," Economics Working Papers 0010, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  2. Keeney,Ralph L. & Raiffa,Howard, 1993. "Decisions with Multiple Objectives," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521438834.
  3. Benabou, Roland & Pycia, Marek, 2002. "Dynamic inconsistency and self-control: a planner-doer interpretation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 419-424, November.
  4. Gerard Debreu, 1959. "Topological Methods in Cardinal Utility Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 76, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Evren, Özgür & Ok, Efe A., 2011. "On the multi-utility representation of preference relations," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 554-563.
  6. Green, Jerry & Hojman, Daniel, 2007. "Choice, Rationality and Welfare Measurement," Working Paper Series rwp07-054, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  7. de Clippel, Geoffroy & Eliaz, Kfir, 2009. "Reason-Based Choice: A Bargaining Rationale for the Attraction and Compromise Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 7414, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2008. "Beyond Revealed Preference: Choice Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics," NBER Working Papers 13737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Temptation and Self-Control," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f1, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  10. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
  11. Dekel, Eddie & Lipman, Barton L & Rustichini, Aldo, 2001. "Representing Preferences with a Unique Subjective State Space," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 891-934, July.
  12. John P. Conley & Simon Wilkie & Richard P. McLean, 1996. "Reference functions and possibility theorems for cardinal social choice problems," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 65-78.
  13. Simonson, Itamar, 1989. " Choice Based on Reasons: The Case of Attraction and Compromise Effects," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 158-74, September.
  14. Masatlioglu, Yusufcan & Ok, Efe A., 2005. "Rational choice with status quo bias," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 1-29, March.
  15. Amrita Dhillon & Jean-Francois Mertens, 1999. "Relative Utilitarianism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(3), pages 471-498, May.
  16. Uzi Segal, 2000. "Let's Agree That All Dictatorships Are Equally Bad," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 569-589, June.
  17. Segal, U., 1996. "Let's Agree that All Dictatorships Are Equally," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9608, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  18. Kahneman, Daniel & Wakker, Peter P & Sarin, Rakesh, 1997. "Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 375-405, May.
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