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A Bayesian Approach to Uncentainty Aversion

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  • Yoram Halevy
  • Vincent Feltkamp

Abstract

The Ellsberg paradox demonstrates that people's belief over uncertain events might not be representable by subjective probability. We argue that Uncertainty Aversion may be viewed as a case of "Rule Rationality''. This paradigm claims that people's decision making has evolved to simple rules that perform well in most regular environments. Such an environment consists of replicas of some basic singular circumstance. When the rule is applied to a singular environment, the behavior may seem paradoxical. We claim that the regular environment in which decisions under uncertainty take place, is described by one decision that spans multiple ambiguous risks, which are positively correlated. We show that when a risk averse individual has a Bayesian prior and uses a rule, which is optimal for the regular ambiguous environment, to evaluate a singular vague circumstance - his behavior will exhibit uncertainty aversion. Thus, the behavior predicted by Ellsberg may be explained within the Bayesian expected utility paradigm.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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  • Yoram Halevy & Vincent Feltkamp, "undated". "A Bayesian Approach to Uncentainty Aversion," CARESS Working Papres 99-03, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:pennca:99-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:clg:wpaper:2013-27 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gregory DeAngelo & Gary Charness, 2012. "Deterrence, expected cost, uncertainty and voting: Experimental evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 73-100, February.
    3. Jim Engle-Warnick & Sonia Laszlo, 2017. "Learning-by-doing in an ambiguous environment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 71-94, August.
    4. Takashi Kamihigashi & John Stachurski, 2014. "Partial Stochastic Dominance," Discussion Paper Series DP2014-23, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    5. Rasmusen, Eric, 2010. "Career concerns and ambiguity aversion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 175-177, August.
    6. Nabil Al-Najjar & Jonathan Weinstein, 2015. "A Bayesian model of Knightian uncertainty," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 78(1), pages 1-22, January.
    7. Igor Kopylov, 2016. "Subjective probability, confidence, and Bayesian updating," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 62(4), pages 635-658, October.
    8. Dean, Mark & Ortoleva, Pietro, 2017. "Allais, Ellsberg, and preferences for hedging," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(1), January.
    9. Nabil I. Al-Najjar, 2015. "A Bayesian Framework for the Precautionary Principle," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(S2), pages 337-365.
    10. Rick Harbaugh, 2005. "Prospect Theory or Skill Signaling?," Working Papers 2005-06, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    11. Kuzmics, Christoph, 2014. "Inferring preferences from choices under uncertainty," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 462, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    12. Prokosheva, Sasha, 2016. "Comparing decisions under compound risk and ambiguity: The importance of cognitive skills," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 94-105.
    13. Sasha Prokosheva, 2014. "Comparing Decisions under Compound Risk and Ambiguity: The Importance of Cognitive Skills," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp525, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    14. Uri Gneezy & Alex Imas & John List, 2015. "Estimating Individual Ambiguity Aversion: A Simple Approach," NBER Working Papers 20982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Gee, Laura Katherine, 2016. "The More You Know: Information Effects on Job Application Rates in a Large Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 10372, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Evan Calford, 2017. "Uncertainty Aversion in Game Theory: Experimental Evidence," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1291, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
    17. Nabil I. Al-Najjar & Luciano Pomatto, 2016. "Choice under aggregate uncertainty," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 80(2), pages 187-209, February.
    18. Alfred Müller & Marco Scarsini, 2002. "Even Risk-Averters may Love Risk," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 81-99, February.
    19. Zvi Safra & Uzi Segal, 2005. "Are Universal Preferences Possible? Calibration Results for Non-Expected Utility Theories," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 633, Boston College Department of Economics.
    20. David Weisbach, 2015. "Introduction: Legal Decision Making under Deep Uncertainty," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(S2), pages 319-335.
    21. Pierre Fleckinger, 2007. "On Multiagent Moral Hazard under Technological Uncertainty," Working Papers hal-00240716, HAL.
    22. Yang, Chun-Lei & Yao, Lan, 2011. "Ellsberg Paradox and Second-order Preference Theories on Ambiguity: Some New Experimental Evidence," MPRA Paper 28531, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    JEL classification:

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

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