Inferring Rationales from Choice : Identification for Rational Shortlist Methods
A wide variety of choice behavior inconsistent with preference maximization can be explained by Manzini and Mariotti's Rational Shortlist Methods. Choices are made by sequentially applying a pair of asymmetric binary relations (rationales) to eliminate inferior alternatives. Manzini and Mariotti's axiomatic treatment elegantly describes which behavior can be explained by this model. However, it leaves unanswered what can be inferred, from observed behavior, about the underlying rationales. Establishing this connection is fundamental not only for applied and empirical work but also for meaningful welfare analysis. Our results tightly characterize the surprisingly rich relationship between behavior and the underlying rationales.
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