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A Theory of Subjective Learning

Author

Listed:
  • David Dillenberger

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Philipp Sadowski

    () (Department of Economics, Duke University)

  • Juan Sebastian Lleras

    () (Department of Social and Decision Sciences, CMU)

  • Norio Takeoka

    () (Department of Economics, Yokohama National University)

Abstract

We study an individual who faces a dynamic decision problem in which the process of information arrival is unobserved by the analyst. We derive two utility representations of preferences over menus of acts that capture the individual’s uncertainty about his future beliefs. The most general representation identifies a unique probability distribution over the set of posteriors that the decision maker might face at the time of choosing from the menu. We use this representation to characterize a notion of “more preference for flexibility” via a subjective analogue of Blackwell’s (1951, 1953) comparisons of experiments. A more specialized representation uniquely identifies information as a partition of the state space. This result allows us to compare individuals who expect to learn differently, even if they do not agree on their prior beliefs. We conclude by extending the basic model to accommodate an individual who expects to learn gradually over time by means of a subjective filtration.

Suggested Citation

  • David Dillenberger & Philipp Sadowski & Juan Sebastian Lleras & Norio Takeoka, 2012. "A Theory of Subjective Learning," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-034, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:12-034
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Higashi, Youichiro & Hyogo, Kazuya & Takeoka, Norio, 2009. "Subjective random discounting and intertemporal choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1015-1053, May.
    2. R. Vijay Krishna & Philipp Sadowski, 2012. "Dynamic Preference for Flexibility," Working Papers 12-16, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    3. Eddie Dekel & Barton L Lipman & Aldo Rustichini & Todd Sarver, 2007. "Representing Preferences with a Unique Subjective State Space: A Corrigendum -super-1," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 591-600, March.
    4. Hyogo, Kazuya, 2007. "A subjective model of experimentation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 316-330, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective learning; partitional learning; preference for flexibility; resolution of uncertainty; valuing more binary bets; subjective filtration;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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