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Additive utility in prospect theory

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  • Han Bleichrodt
  • Ulrich Schmidt
  • Horst Zank

Abstract

Prospect theory is currently the main descriptive theory of decision under uncertainty. It generalizes expected utility by introducing nonlinear decision weighting and loss aversion. A difficulty in the study of multiattribute utility under prospect theory is to determine when an attribute yields a gain or a loss. One possibility, adopted in the theoretical literature on multiattribute utility under prospect theory, is to assume that a decision maker determines whether the complete outcome is a gain or a loss. In this holistic evaluation, decision weighting and loss aversion are general and attribute-independent. Another possibility, more common in the empirical literature, is to assume that a decision maker has a reference point for each attribute. We give preference foundations for this attribute-specific evaluation where decision weighting and loss aversion are depending on the attributes.
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Suggested Citation

  • Han Bleichrodt & Ulrich Schmidt & Horst Zank, 2008. "Additive utility in prospect theory," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0811, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  • Handle: RePEc:man:sespap:0811
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Botzen, W.J.W. & van den Bergh, J.C.J.M., 2012. "Risk attitudes to low-probability climate change risks: WTP for flood insurance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 151-166.
    2. Wilson, Kevin J. & Quigley, John, 2016. "Allocation of tasks for reliability growth using multi-attribute utility," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 255(1), pages 259-271.
    3. repec:spr:grdene:v:24:y:2015:i:5:d:10.1007_s10726-014-9411-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Katarzyna Werner & Horst Zank, 2012. "Foundations for Prospect Theory Through Probability Midpoint Consistency," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1210, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    5. Attema, Arthur E. & Brouwer, Werner B.F. & l’Haridon, Olivier & Pinto, Jose Luis, 2016. "An elicitation of utility for quality of life under prospect theory," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 121-134.
    6. Avineri, Erel & Owen D. Waygood, E., 2013. "Applying valence framing to enhance the effect of information on transport-related carbon dioxide emissions," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 31-38.
    7. Manel Baucells & Rakesh K. Sarin, 2010. "Predicting Utility Under Satiation and Habit Formation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(2), pages 286-301, February.

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