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Multi-state choices with aggregate feedback on unfamiliar alternatives

Author

Listed:
  • Philippe Jehiel

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, UCL - University College of London [London])

  • Juni Singh

    (UCL - University College of London [London])

Abstract

This paper studies a multi-state binary choice experiment in which in each state, one alternative has well understood consequences whereas the other alternative has unknown consequences. Subjects repeatedly receive feedback from past choices about the consequences of unfamiliar alternatives but this feedback is aggregated over states. Varying the payoffs attached to the various alternatives in various states allows us to test whether unfamiliar alternatives are discounted and whether subjects' use of feedback is better explained by similarity-based reinforcement learning models (in the spirit of the valuation equilibrium, Jehiel and Samet, 2007) or by some variant of Bayesian learning model. Our experimental data suggest that there is no discount attached to the unfamiliar alternatives and that similarity-based reinforcement learning models have a better explanatory power than their Bayesian counterparts.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Jehiel & Juni Singh, 2021. "Multi-state choices with aggregate feedback on unfamiliar alternatives," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-03672197, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseptp:halshs-03672197
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2021.07.007
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03672197
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ambiguity; Bounded rationality; Experiment; Learning; Coarse feedback; Valuation equilibrium;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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