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Two-Stage Boundedly Rational Choice Procedures: Theory and Experimental Evidence


  • Manzini, Paola

    () (University of Sussex)

  • Mariotti, Marco

    () (Queen Mary, University of London)


We study and test a class of boundedly rational models of decision making which rely on sequential eliminative heuristics. We formalize two sequential decision procedures, both inspired by plausible models popular among several psychologists and marketing scientists. However we follow a standard ‘revealed preference’ economic approach by fully characterizing these procedures by few, simple and testable conditions on observed choice. Then we test the models (as well as the standard utility maximization model) with experimental data. We find that the large majority of individuals behave in a way consistent with one of our procedures, and inconsistent with the utility maximization model.

Suggested Citation

  • Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2006. "Two-Stage Boundedly Rational Choice Procedures: Theory and Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2341, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2341

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ariel Rubinstein & Yuval Salant, 2006. "Two Comments on the Principle of Revealed Preference," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000272, UCLA Department of Economics.
    2. Philippe Février & Michael Visser, 2004. "A Study of Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(1), pages 93-114, February.
    3. Camerer, Colin F & Hogarth, Robin M, 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 7-42, December.
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    5. Gil Kalai & Ariel Rubinstein & Ran Spiegler, 2002. "Rationalizing Choice Functions By Multiple Rationales," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2481-2488, November.
    6. Ariel Rubinstein, 2003. ""Economics and Psychology"? The Case of Hyperbolic Discounting," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1207-1216, November.
    7. Andreoni,J. & Harbaugh,W.T., 2005. "Power indices for revealed preference tests," Working papers 10, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    8. Amartya Sen, 1997. "Maximization and the Act of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 745-780, July.
    9. James Andreoni, 2001. "Giving According to GARP," Theory workshop papers 339, UCLA Department of Economics.
    10. Masatlioglu, Yusufcan & Ok, Efe A., 2005. "Rational choice with status quo bias," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 1-29, March.
    11. Rubinstein, A., 2000. "Is it "Economics and Psychology"?: the Case of Hyperbolic Discounting," Papers 00-21, Tel Aviv.
    12. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2004. "Rationalizing Boundedly Rational Choice," Microeconomics 0407005, EconWPA, revised 21 Dec 2005.
    13. Daniel Read, 2005. "Monetary incentives, what are they good for?," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 265-276.
    14. William T. Harbaugh & Kate Krause & Timothy R. Berry, 2001. "GARP for Kids: On the Development of Rational Choice Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1539-1545, December.
    15. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti & Luigi Mittone, 2010. "Choosing monetary sequences: theory and experimental evidence," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(3), pages 327-354, September.
    16. John List & Craig Gallet, 2001. "What Experimental Protocol Influence Disparities Between Actual and Hypothetical Stated Values?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 20(3), pages 241-254, November.
    17. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
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    19. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1988. "Similarity and decision-making under risk (is there a utility theory resolution to the Allais paradox?)," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 145-153, October.
    20. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lombardi, Michele, 2009. "Reason-based choice correspondences," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 58-66, January.
    2. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti & Luigi Mittone, 2010. "Choosing monetary sequences: theory and experimental evidence," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(3), pages 327-354, September.
    3. Michele Lombardi, 2008. "Uncovered set choice rules," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(2), pages 271-279, August.
    4. Kfir Eliaz & Michael Richter & Ariel Rubinstein, 2011. "Choosing the two finalists," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 46(2), pages 211-219, February.
    5. Schmöller, Arno, 2010. "Bidding Behavior, Seller Strategies, and the Utilization of Information in Auctions for Complex Goods," Munich Dissertations in Economics 11175, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    bounded rationality; choice experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics


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