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Definitions of Ambiguous Events and the Smooth Ambiguity Model

  • Sujoy Mukerji
  • Peter Klibanoff
  • Massimo Marinacci

We examine a variety of preference-based definitions of ambiguous events in the context of the smooth ambiguity model.� We first consider the definition proposed in Klibanoff, Marinacci, and Mukerji (2005) based on the classic Ellsberg two-urn paradox (Ellsberg (1961)), and show that it satisfies several desirable properties.� We then compare this definition with those of Nehring (1999), Epstein and Zhang (2001), Zhang (2002) and Ghirardato and Marinacci (2002).� Within the smooth ambiguity model, we show that Ghirardato and Marinacci (2002) would identify the same set of ambiguous and unambiguous events as our definition while Epstein and Zhang (2001) and Zhang (2002) would yield a different classification.� Moreover, we discuss and formally identify two key sources of the differences compared to Epstein and Zhang (2001) and Zhang (2002).� The more interesting source is that these two definitions can confound non-constant ambiguity attitude and the ambiguity of an event.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 525.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:525
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  1. Jiankang Zhang, 2002. "Subjective ambiguity, expected utility and Choquet expected utility," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 159-181.
  2. Machina, Mark J & Schmeidler, David, 1992. "A More Robust Definition of Subjective Probability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 745-80, July.
  3. Larry G. Epstein & Jiankang Zhang, 1999. "Subjective Probabilities on Subjectively Unambiguous Events," Carleton Economic Papers 99-18, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  4. Zhang, Jiankang, 1999. "Qualitative probabilities on [lambda]-systems," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 11-20, July.
  5. 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.
  6. Epstein, L.G. & Zhang, J., 1998. "Subjective Probabilities on Subjectivity Unambiguous Event," RCER Working Papers 456, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  7. Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Paolo Ghirardato & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Marciano Siniscalchi, 2010. "Rational Preferences under Ambiguity," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 169, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  8. Nehring, Klaus, 1999. "Capacities and probabilistic beliefs: a precarious coexistence," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 197-213, September.
  9. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2002. "Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 251-289, February.
  10. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Ambiguity Aversion, Robustness, and the Variational Representation of Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 12, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2006.
  11. Kopylov, Igor, 2007. "Subjective probabilities on "small" domains," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 236-265, March.
  12. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  13. Klaus Nehring, 2006. "Is it Possible to Define Subjective Probabilities in Purely Behavioral Terms? A Comment on Epstein-Zhang (2001)," Economics Working Papers 0067, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
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