Decision theory for agents with incomplete preferences
Orthodox decision theory gives no advice to agents who hold two goods to be incommensurate in value because such agents will have incomplete preferences. According to standard treatments, rationality requires complete preferences, so such agents are irrational. Experience shows, however, that incomplete preferences are ubiquitous in ordinary life. In this paper, we aim to do two things: (1) show that there is a good case for revising decision theory so as to allow it to apply non-vacuously to agents with incomplete preferences, and (2) to identify one substantive criterion that any such non-standard decision theory must obey. Our criterion, Competitiveness, is a weaker version of a dominance principle. Despite its modesty, Competitiveness is incompatible with prospectism, a recently developed decision theory for agents with incomplete preferences. We spend the final part of the paper showing why Competitiveness should be retained, and prospectism rejected.
|Date of creation:||09 Sep 2013|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany|
Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Amartya Sen, 1997.
"Maximization and the Act of Choice,"
Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 745-780, July.
- Amartya Sen, 1996. "Maximization and the Act of Choice," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1766, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Sen, A., 1996. "Maximisation and the Act of Choice," Papers 270, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
- Broome, John, 2006. "Weighing Lives," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199297702.
- Herbert A. Simon, 1955. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 99-118.
- Mandler, Michael, 2005. "Incomplete preferences and rational intransitivity of choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 255-277, February.
- Bykvist, Krister, 2006. "Prudence for Changing Selves," Utilitas, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(03), pages 264-283, September. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49954. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.