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Understanding Preference Imprecision


  • Bayrak, Oben K.

    () (CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics)

  • Hey, John D.

    () (Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York)


The term ‘preference imprecision’ seems to have different meanings to different people. In the literature, one can find references to a number of expressions. For example: vagueness, incompleteness, randomness, unsureness, indecisiveness and thick indifference curves. Some of these are theoretical constructs, some are empirical. The purpose of this paper is to survey the various different approaches and to try to link them together: to see if they are all addressed to the same issue, and to come to some conclusions. In the course of this survey, we report on evidence concerning the existence of preference imprecision, and its impact on theoretical and empirical work.

Suggested Citation

  • Bayrak, Oben K. & Hey, John D., 2018. "Understanding Preference Imprecision," CERE Working Papers 2018:2, CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics, revised 28 Jan 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:slucer:2018_002

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    More about this item


    preference imprecision; stochastic models; stochastic specifications; incommensurability; anomalies; valuation gap; preference imprecision; strength of preference; SoP; economic preferences; interval valuations;

    JEL classification:

    • D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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