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Relevance and Symmetry

Author

Listed:
  • Sujoy Mukerji
  • Peter Klibanoff and Kyoungwon Seo

Abstract

We define a behavioral concept of relevance in the context of decision making under uncertainty. We argue that this concept provides a sensible answer to the question "What probabilistic environments do an individuals' preferences reveal as mattering to her decisions?" under a symmetry assumption. This question has important implications for economic modeling. It is often the case that a modeler desires to restrict the probabilistic environments a decision maker considers. Without a concept of relevant beliefs, it is impossible to check from preferences whether a model is reflecting what the modeler intended. This checking is essential to isolating the effect of changing information while holding tastes fixed. We show that a single concept of relevance delivers this for a wide range of models, including models that allow for ambiguity attitude. We also use symmetry and relevance to provide insight into the foundations of the α-MEU and smooth ambiguity models of decision-making under uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Sujoy Mukerji & Peter Klibanoff and Kyoungwon Seo, 2011. "Relevance and Symmetry," Economics Series Working Papers 539, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:539
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper539.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Klibanoff, Peter & Marinacci, Massimo & Mukerji, Sujoy, 2009. "Recursive smooth ambiguity preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 930-976, May.
    2. Dubra, Juan & Maccheroni, Fabio & Ok, Efe A., 2004. "Expected utility theory without the completeness axiom," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 118-133, March.
    3. Gajdos, Thibault & Tallon, Jean-Marc & Vergnaud, Jean-Christophe, 2004. "Decision making with imprecise probabilistic information," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 647-681, September.
    4. Tapking, Jens, 2004. "Axioms for preferences revealing subjective uncertainty and uncertainty aversion," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 771-797, November.
    5. David S. Ahn, 2008. "Ambiguity Without a State Space," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 3-28.
    6. Gajdos, T. & Hayashi, T. & Tallon, J.-M. & Vergnaud, J.-C., 2008. "Attitude toward imprecise information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 27-65, May.
    7. Robert F. Nau, 2006. "Uncertainty Aversion with Second-Order Utilities and Probabilities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(1), pages 136-145, January.
    8. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    9. Alain Chateauneuf & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Jean-Marc Tallon, 2005. "Monotone continuous multiple priors," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 26(4), pages 973-982, November.
    10. Itzhak Gilboa & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & David Schmeidler, 2010. "Objective and Subjective Rationality in a Multiple Prior Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(2), pages 755-770, March.
    11. Cerreia-Vioglio, Simone & Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo & Montrucchio, Luigi, 2013. "Ambiguity and robust statistics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 974-1049.
      • Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Luigi Montrucchio, 2011. "Ambiguity and Robust Statistics," Working Papers 382, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    12. Jürgen Eichberger & Simon Grant & David Kelsey, 2008. "Differentiating ambiguity: an expository note," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 36(2), pages 327-336, August.
    13. Chew Soo Hong & Jacob S. Sagi, 2006. "Event Exchangeability: Probabilistic Sophistication Without Continuity or Monotonicity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 771-786, May.
    14. Wojciech Olszewski, 2007. "Preferences Over Sets of Lotteries -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 567-595.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jürgen Eichberger & Simon Grant & David Kelsey, 2012. "When is ambiguity–attitude constant?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 239-263, December.
    2. Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Luigi Montrucchio, 2011. "Classical Subjective Expected Utility," Working Papers 400, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    3. Cerreia-Vioglio, Simone & Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo & Montrucchio, Luigi, 2013. "Ambiguity and robust statistics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 974-1049.
      • Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Luigi Montrucchio, 2011. "Ambiguity and Robust Statistics," Working Papers 382, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    4. repec:eee:jetheo:v:171:y:2017:i:c:p:213-267 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Jewitt, Ian & Mukerji, Sujoy, 2017. "Ordering ambiguous acts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 213-267.
    6. repec:bos:wpaper:wp2013-001 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Nabil I. Al-Najjar & Luciano De Castro, 2010. "Observability and “Second-Order Acts"," Discussion Papers 1531, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    8. Nabil I. Al-Najjar & Luciano De Castro, 2010. "Prediction Markets to Forecast Electricity Demand," Discussion Papers 1529, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    9. Epstein, Larry G. & Halevy, Yoram, 2014. "No Two Experiments are Identical," Microeconomics.ca working papers yoram_halevy-2014-9, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 15 Feb 2017.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Symmetry; Beliefs; Ambiguity; Comparative statics of information;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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