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A Bayesian Approach to Uncertainty Aversion

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  • Feltkamp, Vincent
  • Halevy, Yoram

Abstract

The Ellsberg Paradox demonstrates that people's belief over uncertain events might not be representable by subjective probability. We show that if a risk averse decision maker, who has a well defined Bayesian prior, perceives an Ellsberg type decision problem as possibly composed of a bundle of several positively correlated problems - she will be uncertainty averse. We generalize this argument and derive sufficient conditions for uncertainty aversion.

Suggested Citation

  • Feltkamp, Vincent & Halevy, Yoram, 2004. "A Bayesian Approach to Uncertainty Aversion," Microeconomics.ca working papers halevy-04-02-13-07-48-37, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Feb 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:pmicro:halevy-04-02-13-07-48-37
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    File URL: http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/yhalevy/HalevyFeltkampRES2005.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rakesh Sarin & Peter Wakker, 1997. "A Single-Stage Approach to Anscombe and Aumann's Expected Utility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 399-409.
    2. Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
    3. Segal, Uzi, 1987. "The Ellsberg Paradox and Risk Aversion: An Anticipated Utility Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(1), pages 175-202, February.
    4. Sarin, Rakesh K & Wakker, Peter, 1992. "A Simple Axiomatization of Nonadditive Expected Utility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1255-1272, November.
    5. Aumann, Robert J., 1997. "Rationality and Bounded Rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 2-14, October.
    6. Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
    7. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    8. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
    9. Camerer, Colin & Weber, Martin, 1992. "Recent Developments in Modeling Preferences: Uncertainty and Ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 325-370, October.
    10. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    11. Machina, Mark J & Schmeidler, David, 1992. "A More Robust Definition of Subjective Probability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 745-780, July.
    12. Larry Epstein, 1997. "Uncertainty Aversion," Working Papers epstein-97-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    13. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-660, June.
    14. Daniel Ellsberg, 1961. "Risk, Ambiguity, and the Savage Axioms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 643-669.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ellsberg Paradox; rule rationality; ambiguity aversion; risk aversionm subjective probability; reduction of compound lotteries;

    JEL classification:

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

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