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Revealed preferences over risk and uncertainty

Author

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  • John Quah
  • Matthew Polisson
  • Ludovic Renou

Abstract

Consider a finite data set where each observation consists of a bunde of contingent consumption chosen by an agent from a constraint set of such bundles. We develop a general procedure for testing the consistency of this data set with a broad class of models of choice under risk and under uncertainty. Unlike previous work, we do not require that the agent has a convex preference, so we allow for risk loving and elation seeking behavior. Our procedure can also be extended to calculate the magnitude of violations from a particular model of choice, using an index first suggested by Afriat (1972, 1973). We then apply this index to evaluate different models (including expected utility and disappointment aversion) in the data collected by Choi et al. (2007). We show that more than half of all subjects exhibiting choice behavior consistent with utility maximization are also consistent with models of expected utility and disappointment aversion.

Suggested Citation

  • John Quah & Matthew Polisson & Ludovic Renou, 2015. "Revealed preferences over risk and uncertainty," Economics Series Working Papers 740, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:740
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/13804/paper740.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-973, July.
    2. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    3. Varian, Hal R., 1990. "Goodness-of-fit in optimizing models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 125-140.
    4. Varian, Hal R, 1988. "Estimating Risk Aversion from Arrow-Debreu Portfolio Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 973-979, July.
    5. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
    6. Hal R. Varian, 1983. "Non-parametric Tests of Consumer Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 99-110.
    7. Selten, Reinhard, 1991. "Properties of a measure of predictive success," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 153-167, April.
    8. Hiroki Nishimura & Efe A. Ok & John K.-H. Quah, 2017. "A Comprehensive Approach to Revealed Preference Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1239-1263, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Castillo & David L. Dickinson & Ragan Petrie, 2017. "Sleepiness, choice consistency, and risk preferences," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 82(1), pages 41-73, January.
    2. Hiroki Nishimura & Efe A. Ok & John K.-H. Quah, 2017. "A Comprehensive Approach to Revealed Preference Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1239-1263, April.
    3. Polisson, Matthew & Renou, Ludovic, 2016. "Afriat’s Theorem and Samuelson’s ‘Eternal Darkness’," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 36-40.
    4. Cesar Martinelli & Mikhail Freer, 2016. "General Revealed Preferences," Working Papers 1059, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, revised Jun 2016.
    5. Lanier, Joshua & Miao, Bin & Quah, John & Zhong, Songfa, 2018. "Intertemporal Consumption with Risk: A Revealed Preference Analysis," MPRA Paper 86263, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Matthew Polisson, 2018. "A Lattice Test for Additive Separability," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 201801, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    expected utility; rank dependent utility; maxmin expected utility; variational preferences; generalized axiom of revealed preference;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C60 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - General
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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