Complexity and Bounded Rationality in Individual Decision Problemsing
I develop a model of endogenous bounded rationality due to search costs, arising implicitly from the problems complexity. The decision maker is not required to know the entire structure of the problem when making choices but can think ahead, through costly search, to reveal more of it. However, the costs of search are not assumed exogenously; they are inferred from revealed preferences through her choices. Thus, bounded rationality and its extent emerge endogenously: as problems become simpler or as the benefits of deeper search become larger relative to its costs, the choices more closely resemble those of a rational agent. For a fixed decision problem, the costs of search will vary across agents. For a given decision maker, they will vary across problems. The model explains, therefore, why the disparity, between observed choices and those prescribed under rationality, varies across agents and problems. It also suggests, under reasonable assumptions, an identifying prediction: a relation between the benefits of deeper search and the depth of the search. As long as calibration of the search costs is possible, this can be tested on any agent-problem pair. My approach provides a common framework for depicting the underlying limitations that force departures from rationality in different and unrelated decision-making situations. Specifically, I show that it is consistent with violations of timing independence in temporal framing problems, dynamic inconsistency and diversification bias in sequential versus simultaneous choice problems, and with plausible but contrasting risk attitudes across small- and large-stakes gambles.
|Date of creation:||2013|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 31 Buccleuch Place, EH8 9JT, Edinburgh|
Web page: http://www.sire.ac.uk
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- John Bone & John Hey & John Suckling, 2009.
"Do people plan?,"
Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(1), pages 12-25, March.
- Colin F. Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho & Juin-Kuan Chong, 2004. "A Cognitive Hierarchy Model of Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 861-898.
- Botond Kőszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006.
"A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
- Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2005. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000341, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2004. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0407001, EconWPA.
- Koszegi, Botond & Rabin, Matthew, 2004. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0w82b6nm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Enrica Carbone & John Hey, "undated".
"A Test of the Principle of Optimality,"
99/9, Department of Economics, University of York.
- Kalai, Ehud & Stanford, William, 1988.
"Finite Rationality and Interpersonal Complexity in Repeated Games,"
Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 397-410, March.
- Ehud Kalai & William Stanford, 1986. "Finite Rationality and Interpersonal Complexity in Repeated Games," Discussion Papers 679, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Matthew Rabin & Richard H. Thaler, 2001. "Anomalies: Risk Aversion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 219-232, Winter.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:510. 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: (Gina Reddie)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.