Better may be worse: Some monotonicity results and paradoxes in discrete choice
It is not unusual in real-life that one has to choose among finitely many alternatives when the merit of each alternative is not perfectly known. This may be the case when an individual chooses school, doctor or pension plan, or when a firm chooses between alternative R&D projects. Instead of observing the actual utilities of the alternatives at hand, one typically observes more or less precise signals that are positively correlated with these utilities. In addition, the decision-maker may, at some cost or disutility of effort, choose to increase the precision of these signals, for example by way of a careful study or the hiring of expertise. We here develop a model of such decision problems. We begin by showing that a version of the monotone likelihood-ratio property is sufficient, and also essentially necessary, for the optimality of the heuristic decision rule to always choose the alternative with the highest signal. Secondly, we show that it is not always advantageous to face alternatives with higher utilities, a non-monotonicity result that holds even if the decision-maker optimally chooses the signal precision. We finally establish an operational first-order condition for the optimal precision level in a canonical class of decision-problems, and we show that the optimal precision level may be discontinuous in the precision cost.
To our knowledge, this item is not available for
download. To find whether it is available, there are three
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
|Date of creation:||09 Mar 2004|
|Date of revision:||21 Apr 2004|
|Publication status:||Published in Theory and Decision , 2007, pages 121-151.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +46-(0)8-736 90 00
Fax: +46-(0)8-31 01 57
Web page: http://www.hhs.se/
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.:
- Eytan Sheshinski, 2003.
"Bounded Rationality and Socially Optimal Limits on Choice in a Self-Selection Model,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
868, CESifo Group Munich.
- Sheshinski, Eytan, 2000. "Bounded Rationality and Socially Optimal Limits on Choice in A Self-Selection Model," MPRA Paper 56141, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2002.
- Eytan Sheshinski, 2000. "Bounded Rationality and Socially Optimal Limits on Choice in a Self-Selection Model," Discussion Paper Series dp330, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, revised Nov 2002.
- Kihlstrom, Richard, 1974. "A general theory of demand for information about product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 413-439, August.
- Chade, Hector & Schlee, Edward, 2002. "Another Look at the Radner-Stiglitz Nonconcavity in the Value of Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 421-452, December.
- Mirrlees, James A., 1987.
"Economic Policy and Nonrational Behavior,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt9tw447ws, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Kihlstrom, Richard E, 1974. "A Bayesian Model of Demand for Information About Product Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 15(1), pages 99-118, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0558. 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: (Helena Lundin)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.