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Uncertainty Aversion

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  • Larry Epstein

Abstract

A definition of uncertainty or ambiguity aversion is proposed. It is argued that the definition is well-suited to modelling within the Savage (as opposed to Anscombe and Aumann) domain of acts. The defined property of uncertainty aversion has intuitive empirical content, behaves well in specific models of preference (multiple-priors and Choquet expected utility) and is tractable. Tractability is established through use of a nonstandard notion of differentiability for utility functions, called eventwise differentiability.

Suggested Citation

  • Larry Epstein, 1997. "Uncertainty Aversion," Working Papers epstein-97-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:epstein-97-01
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Machina, Mark J, 1982. ""Expected Utility" Analysis without the Independence Axiom," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 277-323, March.
    2. Eichberger, Jurgen & Kelsey, David, 1996. "Uncertainty Aversion and Preference for Randomisation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 31-43, October.
    3. Sarin, Rakesh K & Wakker, Peter, 1992. "A Simple Axiomatization of Nonadditive Expected Utility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1255-1272, November.
    4. Hong Chew Soo & Hui Mao Mei, 1995. "A Schur Concave Characterization of Risk Aversion for Non-expected Utility Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 402-435, December.
    5. Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
    6. Hong, Chew Soo & Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1987. "Risk aversion in the theory of expected utility with rank dependent probabilities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 370-381, August.
    7. Epstein Larry G. & Wang Tan, 1995. "Uncertainty, Risk-Neutral Measures and Security Price Booms and Crashes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 40-82, October.
    8. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    9. Segal, Uzi & Spivak, Avia, 1990. "First order versus second order risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 111-125, June.
    10. Karni, Edi, 1983. "Risk Aversion for State-Dependent Utility Functions: Measurement and Applications," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(3), pages 637-647, October.
    11. Yaari, Menahem E., 1969. "Some remarks on measures of risk aversion and on their uses," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 315-329, October.
    12. F J Anscombe & R J Aumann, 2000. "A Definition of Subjective Probability," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7591, David K. Levine.
    13. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    14. Machina, Mark J & Schmeidler, David, 1992. "A More Robust Definition of Subjective Probability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 745-780, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Massimo Marinacci, 2002. "Probabilistic Sophistication and Multiple Priors," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 755-764, March.
    2. Tallon, J.-M. & Chateauneuf, A., 1998. "Diversification, Convex Preferences and Non-Empty Core," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 98.32, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    3. Yoram Halevy & Vincent Feltkamp, 2005. "A Bayesian Approach to Uncertainty Aversion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 449-466.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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