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Ambiguity, Pessimism, and Religious Choice

Listed author(s):
  • Tigran Melkonyan

    ()

    (Department of Resource Economics, University of Nevada, Reno)

  • Mark Pingle

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Nevada, Reno)

Using a relatively mild restriction on the beliefs of the MMEU-apreference functional, in which the decision maker’s degree of ambiguity and degree of pessimism are each parameterized, we present a rather general theory of religious choice in the decision theory tradition, one that can resolve dilemmas, address the many Gods objection, and address the inherent ambiguity. Using comparative static analysis, we are able to show how changes in either the degree of ambiguity or the degree of pessimism can lead a decision maker to “convert” from one religion to another. We illustrate the theory of religious choice using an example where the decision maker perceives three possible religious alternatives.

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File URL: http://www.business.unr.edu/econ/wp/papers/UNRECONWP08002.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
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Paper provided by University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics & University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08-002.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Handle: RePEc:unr:wpaper:08-002
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  1. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  2. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  3. Chateauneuf, Alain & Eichberger, Jürgen & Grant, Simon, 2003. "Choice under Uncertainty with the Best and Worst in Mind: Neo-additive Capacities," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 03-10, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  4. David Schmeidler, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7662, David K. Levine.
  5. Thibault Gadjos & Jean-Marc Tallon & Jean-Christophe Vergnaud, 2002. "Decision Making with Imprecise Probabilistic Information," Working Papers 2002-33, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  6. Montgomery, James D, 1996. "Contemplations on the Economic Approach to Religious Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 443-447, May.
  7. Siniscalchi, Marciano, 2006. "A behavioral characterization of plausible priors," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 91-135, May.
  8. Machina, Mark J & Schmeidler, David, 1992. "A More Robust Definition of Subjective Probability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 745-780, July.
  9. Jürgen Eichberger & Simon Grant & David Kelsey, 2008. "Differentiating ambiguity: an expository note," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 36(2), pages 327-336, August.
  10. Alexander Zimper & Alexander Ludwig, 2006. "Rational expectations and ambiguity: A comment on Abel (2002)," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(2), pages 1-15.
  11. Ghirardato, Paolo & Klibanoff, Peter & Marinacci, Massimo, 1998. "Additivity with multiple priors," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 405-420, November.
  12. Wojciech Olszewski, 2007. "Preferences Over Sets of Lotteries -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 567-595.
  13. 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.
  14. Ghirardato, Paolo & Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo, 2004. "Differentiating ambiguity and ambiguity attitude," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 133-173, October.
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