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A Million Answers to Twenty Questions: Choosing by Checklist

Author

Listed:
  • Mandler, Michael

    () (Royal Holloway, University of London)

  • Manzini, Paola

    () (University of Sussex)

  • Mariotti, Marco

    () (Queen Mary, University of London)

Abstract

Many decision models in marketing science and psychology assume that a consumer chooses by proceeding sequentially through a checklist of desirable properties. These models are contrasted to the utility maximization model of rationality in economics. We show on the contrary that the two approaches are nearly equivalent. Moreover, the length of the shortest checklist as a proportion of the number of an agent’s indifference classes shrinks to 0 (at an exponential rate) as the number of indifference classes increases. Checklists therefore provide a rapid procedural basis for utility maximization.

Suggested Citation

  • Mandler, Michael & Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2008. "A Million Answers to Twenty Questions: Choosing by Checklist," IZA Discussion Papers 3377, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3377
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Yee & Ely Dahan & John R. Hauser & James Orlin, 2007. "Greedoid-Based Noncompensatory Inference," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(4), pages 532-549, 07-08.
    2. Houy, Nicolas & Tadenuma, Koichi, 2009. "Lexicographic compositions of multiple criteria for decision making," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1770-1782, July.
    3. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
    4. Rubinstein, Ariel & Salant, Yuval, 2006. "A model of choice from lists," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 3-17, March.
    5. Peter C. Fishburn, 1974. "Exceptional Paper--Lexicographic Orders, Utilities and Decision Rules: A Survey," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(11), pages 1442-1471, July.
    6. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1996. "Why Are Certain Properties of Binary Relations Relatively More Common in Natural Language?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 343-355, March.
    7. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bounded rationality; procedural rationality; utility maximization; choice behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles

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