When is there state independence?
It has been noticed that whether a preference relation can be represented by state-independent utilities as opposed to state-dependent utilities may depend on which acts count as constant acts [Schervish et al., 1990]. Indeed, this remark underlies an extension of Savage’s expected utility theory to the state-dependent case that was proposed by Edi Karni [Karni, 1993]. This paper contains a characterisation of the preference relations that permit a choice of acts which can play the role of constant acts, and relative to which there is a representation involving a state-independent utility function. This result applies both in the Savage and in the Anscombe & Aumann frameworks. It has as an immediate corollary an extension of Karni’s representation theorem. Finally, it is of methodological interest, insofar that it harnesses techniques from mathematical logic to prove a theorem of interest to decision theorists and economists.
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- Karni, Edi & Schmeidler, David & Vind, Karl, 1983. "On State Dependent Preferences and Subjective Probabilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1021-31, July.
- Edi Karni & Philippe Mongin, 2000.
"On the Determination of Subjective Probability by Choices,"
INFORMS, vol. 46(2), pages 233-248, February.
- Karni, E. & Mongin, P., 1997. "On the Determination of Subjective Probability by Choices," Papers 9737, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
- E. Karni & Ph. Mongin, 1997. "On the determination of subjective probability by choices," THEMA Working Papers 97-37, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
- Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
- Karni, Edi, 1993. "A Definition of Subjective Probabilities with State-Dependent Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 187-98, January.
- Karni, Edi & Schmeidler, David, 1993.
"On the Uniqueness of Subjective Probabilities,"
Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 267-77, April.
- Karni Edi, 1993. "Subjective Expected Utility Theory with State-Dependent Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 428-438, August.
- F J Anscombe & R J Aumann, 2000. "A Definition of Subjective Probability," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7591, David K. Levine.
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