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Lottery Qualities


  • Yves Alarie
  • Georges Dionne


The aim of this paper is to propose a model of decision-making for lotteries. Lottery qualities are the key concepts of the theory. Qualities allow the derivation of optimal decision-making processes and are taken explicitly into account for lottery evaluation. Our contribution explains the major violations of the expected utility theory for decisions on two-point lotteries and shows the necessity of giving explicit consideration to lottery qualities. Judged certainty equivalent and choice certainty equivalent concepts are discussed in detail along with the comparison of lotteries. Examples are provided by using different test results in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Yves Alarie & Georges Dionne, 2006. "Lottery Qualities," Cahiers de recherche 0617, CIRPEE.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0617

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Luce, R Duncan & Mellers, Barbara A & Chang, Shi-jie, 1993. "Is Choice the Correct Primitive? On Using Certainty Equivalents and Reference Levels to Predict Choices among Gambles," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 115-143, April.
    2. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    3. Ranyard, Rob, 1995. "Reversals of Preference between Compound and Simple Risks: The Role of Editing Heuristics," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 159-175, September.
    4. Tversky, Amos & Slovic, Paul & Kahneman, Daniel, 1990. "The Causes of Preference Reversal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 204-217, March.
    5. Bostic, Raphael & Herrnstein, R. J. & Luce, R. Duncan, 1990. "The effect on the preference-reversal phenomenon of using choice indifferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 193-212, March.
    6. Yves Alarie & Georges Dionne, 2004. "On the Necessity of Using Lottery Qualities," Cahiers de recherche 0415, CIRPEE.
    7. Leland, Jonathan W, 1994. "Generalized Similarity Judgments: An Alternative Explanation for Choice Anomalies," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 151-172, October.
    8. Alarie, Yves & Dionne, Georges, 2001. "Lottery Decisions and Probability Weighting Function," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 21-33, January.
    9. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    10. George Wu & Richard Gonzalez, 1996. "Curvature of the Probability Weighting Function," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(12), pages 1676-1690, December.
    11. John Conlisk, 1996. "Why Bounded Rationality?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 669-700, June.
    12. Drazen Prelec, 1998. "The Probability Weighting Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 497-528, May.
    13. McFadden, Daniel, 1999. "Rationality for Economists?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 73-105, December.
    14. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
    15. Machina, Mark J, 1987. "Choice under Uncertainty: Problems Solved and Unsolved," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 121-154, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yves Alarie & Georges Dionne, 2005. "Testing Explanations of Preference Reversal: a Model," Cahiers de recherche 0510, CIRPEE.
    2. Kent Grote & Victor Matheson, 2011. "The Economics of Lotteries: An Annotated Bibliography," Working Papers 1110, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Lottery choice; common ratio; preference reversal; pricing; lottery test; cognitive process; certainty equivalent;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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