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Ambiguity from the Differential Viewpoint

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  • Paolo Ghirardato
  • Fabio Maccheroni
  • Massimo Marinacci

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to show how ambiguity, and a decision maker (DM)'s response to it, can be modelled formally in the context of a very general decision model. In the first part of the paper we introduce an "unambiguous preference" relation derived from the DM's preferences, and show that it can be represented by a set of probability measures. We provide such set with a simple differential interpretation and argue that it represents the DM's perception of the "ambiguity" present in the decision problem. Given the notion of ambiguity, we show that preferences can be represented so as to provide an intuitive representation of ambiguity attitudes. In the second part of the paper we provide some extensions and "applications" of these ideas. We present an axiomatic characterization of the "alfa"-MEU decision rule. We also consider a simple dynamic choice setting and show the characterization of the updating rule that revises every prior in the afore-mentioned set by Bayes's rule; i.e., the generalized Bayesian updating rule.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Ghirardato & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci, 2002. "Ambiguity from the Differential Viewpoint," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 17-2002, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:icr:wpmath:17-2002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2002. "Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 251-289, February.
    2. Paolo Ghirardato & Massimo Marinacci, 2001. "Risk, Ambiguity, and the Separation of Utility and Beliefs," Mathematics of Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 26(4), pages 864-890, November.
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    5. Epstein, Larry G. & Schneider, Martin, 2003. "Recursive multiple-priors," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 1-31, November.
    6. Paolo Ghirardato, 2002. "Revisiting Savage in a conditional world," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 20(1), pages 83-92.
    7. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    8. Paolo Ghirardato & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Marciano Siniscalchi, 2003. "A Subjective Spin on Roulette Wheels," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1897-1908, November.
    9. Epstein, Larry G & Wang, Tan, 1994. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Under Knightian Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 283-322, March.
    10. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    11. Marciano Siniscalchi, 2001. "Bayesian Updating for General Maxmin Expected Utility Preferences," Discussion Papers 1366, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    12. Heath, Chip & Tversky, Amos, 1991. "Preference and Belief: Ambiguity and Competence in Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-28, January.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo & Rustichini, Aldo, 2006. "Dynamic variational preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 4-44, May.
    3. Renault, Jerome & Scarlatti, Sergio & Scarsini, Marco, 2005. "A folk theorem for minority games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 208-230, November.
    4. Gajdos, Thibault & Tallon, Jean-Marc & Vergnaud, Jean-Christophe, 2004. "Decision making with imprecise probabilistic information," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 647-681, September.
    5. Salvatore Modica & Marco Scarsini, 2003. "The convexity-cone approach to comparative risk and downside risk," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 01-2003, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    6. Taizhong Hu & Alfred Müller & Marco Scarsini, 2002. "Some Counterexamples in Positive Dependence," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 28-2003, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research, revised Jul 2003.
    7. Ken Binmore, 2016. "A minimal extension of Bayesian decision theory," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 80(3), pages 341-362, March.
    8. Faro, José Heleno, 2015. "Variational Bewley preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 699-729.
    9. Castagnoli, Erio & Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo, 2002. "Insurance premia consistent with the market," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 267-284, October.
    10. Müller, Alfred & Scarsini, Marco, 2005. "Archimedean copulæ and positive dependence," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 434-445, April.
    11. Bruno Girotto & Silvano Holzer, 2003. "Representing complete and incomplete subjective linear preferences on random numbers," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer;Associazione per la Matematica, vol. 26(2), pages 129-144, November.
    12. Erin Baker & Valentina Bosetti & Ahti Salo, 2017. "Finding common ground when experts disagree: Robust portfolio decision analysis," Working Papers 2017/11, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    13. Siniscalchi, Marciano, 2006. "A behavioral characterization of plausible priors," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 91-135, May.
    14. Antonio Lijoi & Igor Prünster & Stephen G. Walker, 2004. "On consistency of nonparametric normal mixtures for Bayesian density estimation," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 23-2004, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    15. Antonio Lijoi & Igor Prünster & Stephen G. Walker, 2004. "On rates of convergence for posterior distributions in infinite–dimensional models," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 24-2004, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    16. Baker, Erin & Bosetti, Valentina & Salo, Ahti, 2020. "Robust portfolio decision analysis: An application to the energy research and development portfolio problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 284(3), pages 1107-1120.
    17. Antonio Lijoi & Igor Prünster & Stephen G. Walker, 2004. "Contributions to the understanding of Bayesian consistency," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 13-2004, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    18. Henry, Marc, 2007. "A representation of decision by analogy," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(7-8), pages 771-794, September.

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