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Rationalizing Choice with Multi-Self Models

Listed author(s):
  • 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
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. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Temptation and Self-Control," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f1, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  2. John P. Conley & Simon Wilkie & Richard P. McLean, 1996. "Reference functions and possibility theorems for cardinal social choice problems," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 14(1), pages 65-78.
  3. de Clippel, Geoffroy & Eliaz, Kfir, 2012. "Reason-based choice: a bargaining rationale for the attraction and compromise effects," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(1), pages -, January.
  4. Gil Kalai & Ariel Rubinstein & Ran Spiegler, 2001. "Rationalizing Choice Functions by Multiple Rationales," Discussion Paper Series dp278, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  5. Eddie Dekel, 1997. "A Unique Subjective State Space for Unforeseen Contingencies," Discussion Papers 1202, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. DHILLON, Amrita & MERTENS, Jean-François, "undated". "Relative utilitarianism," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1398, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. 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.
  8. Keeney,Ralph L. & Raiffa,Howard, 1993. "Decisions with Multiple Objectives," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521438834, October.
  9. Masatlioglu, Yusufcan & Ok, Efe A., 2005. "Rational choice with status quo bias," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 1-29, March.
  10. 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.
  11. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
  12. Simonson, Itamar, 1989. " Choice Based on Reasons: The Case of Attraction and Compromise Effects," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 158-174, September.
  13. Gerard Debreu, 1959. "Topological Methods in Cardinal Utility Theory," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 76, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  14. 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.
  15. Benabou, Roland & Pycia, Marek, 2002. "Dynamic inconsistency and self-control: a planner-doer interpretation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 419-424, November.
  16. 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.
  17. Green, Jerry & Hojman, Daniel, 2007. "Choice, Rationality and Welfare Measurement," Working Paper Series rwp07-054, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  18. Daniel Kahneman & Peter P. Wakker & Rakesh Sarin, 1997. "Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 375-406.
  19. Amartya K. Sen, 1971. "Choice Functions and Revealed Preference," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(3), pages 307-317.
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