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Variational representation of preferences under ambiguity

  • Fabio Maccheroni
  • Massimo Marinacci
  • Aldo Rustichini

In the classic Anscombe and Aumann decision setting, we give necessary and sufficient conditions that guarantee the existence of a utility function u on outcomes and an ambiguity index c on the set of all probabilities on the states of the world such that acts are ranked according to the criterion V(f)=min{E(u(f),p)+c(p)} where p ranges over all probability distributions and c is a non-negative convex funcion on the set of all probability distributions. The preferences we characterize include as special cases the multiple priors preferences of Gilboa and Schmeidler, the multiplier preferences of Hansen and Sargent, and the mean-variance preferences of Markowitz and Tobin. In this way we are able to provide a rigorous ambiguity perspective on the latter two models, which have been widely used in macroeconomics and finance.

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File URL: http://servizi.sme.unito.it/icer_repec/RePEc/icr/wp2004/Maccheroni-Marinacci5-04.pdf
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Paper provided by ICER - International Centre for Economic Research in its series ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series with number 05-2004.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:icr:wpmath:05-2004
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  1. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  2. Alain Chateauneuf & Fabio Macheronni & Massimo Marinacci & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2005. "Monotone continuous multiple priors," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00177057, HAL.
  3. David Schmeidler, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7662, David K. Levine.
  4. Epstein, Larry G, 1999. "A Definition of Uncertainty Aversion," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 579-608, July.
  5. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2002. "Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 251-289, February.
  6. Thomas J. Sargent & LarsPeter Hansen, 2001. "Robust Control and Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 60-66, May.
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