Optimism and Pessimism with Expected Utility
Savage (1954) provided a set of axioms on preferences over acts that were equivalent to the existence of an expected utility representation. We show that in addition to this representation, there is a continuum of other .expected utility.representations in which for any act, the probability distribution over states depends on the corresponding outcomes. We suggest that optimism and pessimism can be captured by the stake-dependent probabilities in these alternative representations; e.g., for a pessimist, the probability of every outcome except the worst is distorted down from the Savage probability. Extending the DM.s preferences to be defined on both subjective acts and objective lotteries, we show how one may distinguish optimists from pessimists and separate attitude towards uncertainty from curvature of the utility function over monetary prizes.
|Date of creation:||01 Aug 2011|
|Date of revision:||25 Oct 2011|
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- Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman, 2010.
"How (Not) to Do Decision Theory,"
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- Grant, Simon & Karni, Edi, 2003. "Why Does It Matter That Beliefs and Valuations Be Correctly Represented?," Working Papers 2003-02, Rice University, Department of Economics.
- Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman, 2012. "Costly Self‐Control and Random Self‐Indulgence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(3), pages 1271-1302, 05.
- Barton L. Lipman & Eddie Dekel, 2010. "Costly Self Control and Random Self Indulgence," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2010-020, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- Simon Grant & Ben Polak & Tomasz Strzalecki, "undated". "Second-Order Expected Utility," Working Paper 8340, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- Gilboa, Itzhak & Postlewaite, Andrew & Schmeidler, David, 2009. "Is It Always Rational To Satisfy Savage'S Axioms?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(03), pages 285-296, November.
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