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An Allais paradox for generalized Expected Utility Theories ?

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  • Laetitia Placido

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Olivier l'Haridon

    () (GREGH - Groupement de Recherche et d'Etudes en Gestion à HEC - HEC Paris - Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

This article reports the results of an experiment which aims at providing a test of ordinal independence, a necessary property of Generalized Expected Utility theories such as Rank-Dependent Expected Utility theory (RDEU). Our experiment is based on a modified version of the Allais paradox proposed by Machina, which allows testing ordinal independence restricted to simple lotteries, i.e. the tail-separability property. The results tend to support RDEU models since tail-separability is not violated by 71% of subjects while 73% violate the independence condition of classic Allais paradox. This confirms the relative theoretical soundness of RDEU models over Expected Utility model for the particular context of risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Laetitia Placido & Olivier l'Haridon, 2008. "An Allais paradox for generalized Expected Utility Theories ?," Post-Print hal-00645882, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00645882
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00645882
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wakker, Peter P. & Zank, Horst, 2002. "A simple preference foundation of cumulative prospect theory with power utility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1253-1271, July.
    2. A. Marley & R. Luce, 2005. "Independence Properties Vis-À-Vis Several Utility Representations," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 77-143, February.
    3. Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
    4. Wu, George, 1994. "An Empirical Test of Ordinal Independence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 39-60, July.
    5. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
    6. Segal, Uzi, 1987. "Some remarks on Quiggin's anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 145-154, March.
    7. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
    8. Green, Jerry R & Jullien, Bruno, 1988. "Ordinal Independence in Nonlinear Utility Theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 355-387, December.
    9. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    10. Wakker, Peter & Erev, Ido & Weber, Elke U, 1994. "Comonotonic Independence: The Critical Test between Classical and Rank-Dependent Utility Theories," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 195-230, December.
    11. Weber, Elke U & Kirsner, Britt, 1997. "Reasons for Rank-Dependent Utility Evaluation," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 41-61, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark J. Machina, 2009. "Risk, Ambiguity, and the Rank-Dependence Axioms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 385-392, March.
    2. Olivier L’Haridon & Lætitia Placido, 2010. "Betting on Machina’s reflection example: an experiment on ambiguity," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(3), pages 375-393, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Allais paradox; Rank-dependent utility;

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments

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