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Observability and “Second-Order Acts"

  • Nabil I. Al-Najjar
  • Luciano De Castro
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    This note questions the behavioral content of second-order acts and their use in decision theoretic models. We show that there can be no verification mechanism to determine what the decision maker receives under a second-order act. This impossibility applies even in idealized repeated experiments where infinite data can be observed. JEL Classification Numbers:

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    File URL: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/alnajjar/htm/page2/assets/Observability.pdf
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    Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1531.

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    Date of creation: 01 Dec 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1531
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, Northwestern University, 580 Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2014
    Phone: 847/491-3527
    Fax: 847/491-2530
    Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/
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    1. Chew, Soo Hong & Sagi, Jacob S., 2008. "Small worlds: Modeling attitudes toward sources of uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 1-24, March.
    2. Halevy, Yoram, 2005. "Ellsberg Revisited: an Experimental Study," Microeconomics.ca working papers halevy-05-07-26-11-51-13, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Feb 2014.
    3. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2005. "A Smooth Model of Decision Making under Ambiguity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1849-1892, November.
    4. Tomasz Strzalecki, 2011. "Axiomatic Foundations of Multiplier Preferences," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000126, David K. Levine.
    5. Simon Grant & Ben Polak & Tomasz Strzalecki, 2010. "Second-Order Expected Utility," Working Paper 8340, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    6. Sujoy Mukerji & Peter Klibanoff and Kyoungwon Seo, 2011. "Relevance and Symmetry," Economics Series Working Papers 539, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    7. William Neilson, 2010. "A simplified axiomatic approach to ambiguity aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 113-124, October.
    8. Kyoungwon Seo, 2009. "Ambiguity and Second-Order Belief," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1575-1605, 09.
    9. Robert F. Nau, 2006. "Uncertainty Aversion with Second-Order Utilities and Probabilities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(1), pages 136-145, January.
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