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Ignorance and Competence in Choices Under Uncertainty

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  • Casaca, Paulo
  • Chateauneuf, Alain
  • Faro, José Heleno

Abstract

We propose a model of decision making that captures reluctance to bet when the decision maker (DM) perceives that she lacks adequate information or expertise about the underlying contingencies. On the other hand, the same DM can prefer to bet in situations where she feels specially knowledgeable or competent even if the underlying contingencies have vague likelihoods. This separation in terms of sources of uncertainty is motivated by the Heath and Tversky’s competence hypothesis as well as by the Fox and Tversky’s comparative ignorance effect. Formally, we characterize preference relations ≿ over Anscombe–Aumann acts represented by J(f)=minp∈C∫Au(f)dp+maxp∈C∫Acu(f)dp, where u is an affine utility index on consequences, C is a nonempty, convex and (weak∗) compact subset of probabilities measures, and A is a referential chance event. In this model there is a clear separation of ambiguity attitudes. The case E⊂A captures possible familiar target events while the case E⊂Ac might refer to the case of relative ignorance concerning related contingencies. This model captures a special case of event dependence of ambiguity attitudes in which the well known maxmin model is a special case. We also characterize the case where we have a Choquet Expected Utility representation. Journal of Economic Literature Classification Number: D81.
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Suggested Citation

  • Casaca, Paulo & Chateauneuf, Alain & Faro, José Heleno, 2013. "Ignorance and Competence in Choices Under Uncertainty," Insper Working Papers wpe_323, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ibm:ibmecp:wpe_323
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wakker, Peter P, 2001. "Testing and Characterizing Properties of Nonadditive Measures through Violations of the Sure-Thing Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1039-1059, July.
    2. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2002. "Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 251-289, February.
    3. Jurgen Eichberger & Simon Grant & David Kelsey & Gleb A. Koshevoy, 2009. "The a-MEU Model: A Comment," Discussion Papers 0903, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
    4. Cerreia-Vioglio, Simone, 2016. "Objective rationality and uncertainty averse preferences," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(2), May.
    5. Chateauneuf, Alain, 1991. "On the use of capacities in modeling uncertainty aversion and risk aversion," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 343-369.
    6. Cerreia-Vioglio, S. & Maccheroni, F. & Marinacci, M. & Montrucchio, L., 2011. "Uncertainty averse preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(4), pages 1275-1330, July.
    7. Craig R. Fox & Amos Tversky, 1995. "Ambiguity Aversion and Comparative Ignorance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 585-603.
    8. Chew, Soo Hong & Sagi, Jacob S., 2008. "Small worlds: Modeling attitudes toward sources of uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 1-24, March.
    9. Chateauneuf, Alain & Faro, José Heleno, 2009. "Ambiguity through confidence functions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(9-10), pages 535-558, September.
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    11. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
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    13. Itzhak Gilboa & Massimo Marinacci, 2011. "Ambiguity and the Bayesian Paradigm," Working Papers 379, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    14. Daniel Ellsberg, 1961. "Risk, Ambiguity, and the Savage Axioms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 643-669.
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    16. Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Paolo Ghirardato & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Marciano Siniscalchi, 2011. "Rational preferences under ambiguity," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 48(2), pages 341-375, October.
    17. Chew Soo Hong & Jacob S. Sagi, 2006. "Event Exchangeability: Probabilistic Sophistication Without Continuity or Monotonicity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 771-786, May.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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