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Certainty Independence and the Separation of Utility and Beliefs

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  • Paolo Ghirardato

    ()

  • Fabio Maccheroni

    ()

  • Massimo Marinacci

    ()

Abstract

Economists often operate under an implicit assumption that the tastes of a decision maker are constant, while his beliefs change with the availability of new information. It is therefore customary to seek representations of preferences which cleanly separate the taste component, called ‘utility,’ from the beliefs component. We show that a complete separation of utility from the other components of the representation is possible only if the decision maker’s preferences satisfy a mild but not completely innocuous condition, called ‘certainty independence.’ We prove that the preferences that obtain such separation are a subset of the biseparable preferences.nonatomic probability measures, we extend some of these results to the case of individuals with decreasing marginal evaluations.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Ghirardato & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci, 2002. "Certainty Independence and the Separation of Utility and Beliefs," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 40-2002, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:icr:wpmath:40-2002
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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.
    3. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    4. 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.
    5. F J Anscombe & R J Aumann, 2000. "A Definition of Subjective Probability," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7591, David K. Levine.
    6. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    7. Larry G. Epstein, 1999. "A Definition of Uncertainty Aversion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 579-608.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Stoye, Jörg, 2011. "Axioms for minimax regret choice correspondences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2226-2251.
    3. Gajdos, Thibault & Maurin, Eric, 2004. "Unequal uncertainties and uncertain inequalities: an axiomatic approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 93-118, May.
    4. Chambers, Robert G. & Quiggin, John, 2008. "Generalized Invariant Preferences: Two-parameter Representations of Preferences," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 151186, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    5. 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.
    6. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00348822 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Tyson, Christopher J., 2013. "Preference symmetries, partial differential equations, and functional forms for utility," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 266-277.
    10. Robert Chambers & Tigran Melkonyan, 2008. "Eliciting beliefs," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 65(4), pages 271-284, December.
    11. repec:spr:joecth:v:63:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00199-016-0972-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Chateauneuf, Alain & Faro, José Heleno, 2009. "Ambiguity through confidence functions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(9-10), pages 535-558, September.
    13. 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.
    14. Müller, Alfred & Scarsini, Marco, 2005. "Archimedean copulæ and positive dependence," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 434-445, April.
    15. Lefort, Jean-Philippe, 2009. "Guessing the beliefs," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(12), pages 846-853, December.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. Gajdos, T. & Tallon, J.-M. & Vergnaud, J.-C., 2008. "Representation and aggregation of preferences under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 141(1), pages 68-99, July.
    19. Klaus Nehring, 2006. "Bernoulli Without Bayes: A Theory of Utility-Sophisticated Preferences under Ambiguity," Economics Working Papers 0072, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
    20. 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.
    21. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci, 2017. "Mixed extensions of decision problems under uncertainty," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 63(4), pages 827-866, April.
    22. Klaus Nehring, 2006. "Decision-Making in the Context of Imprecise Probabilistic Beliefs," Economics Working Papers 0034, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.

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