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Dynamic Preference for Flexibility


  • R. Vijay Krishna
  • Philipp Sadowski


We consider a decision maker who experiences transient preference shocks when faced with dynamic decision situations that involve intertemporal tradeoffs, such as those in consumption savings problems. We axiomatize a recursive representation of choice over infinite horizon consumption problems that features uncertain consumption utilities that evolve according to a subjective process that is iid. A generalization of the model introduces objective states of the world and accommodates persistent taste shocks that are transient, contingent on the state. In the corresponding representation the uncertainty about utilities depends on the exogenous state, which follows a subjective Markov process. The parameters of the representations, which are the subjective processes governing the evolution of beliefs over consumption utilities, and the discount factor, are uniquely identified from behavior. We characterize a natural notion of greater preference for flexibility in terms of a dilation of beliefs.

Suggested Citation

  • R. Vijay Krishna & Philipp Sadowski, 2012. "Dynamic Preference for Flexibility," Working Papers 12-16, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:12-16

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    Cited by:

    1. David Dillenberger & Philipp Sadowski & Juan Sebastian Lleras & Norio Takeoka, 2012. "A Theory of Subjective Learning," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-034, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.

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