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Evidence Theory: A Mathematical Framework for Unpredictable Hypotheses

Listed author(s):
  • Guido Fioretti

    (Universita' di Siena)

Shafer's evidence theory is a branch of the mathematics of uncertain reasoning that allows for novel possibilities to be conceived by a decision-maker. Many of its findings exhibit striking similarities with an alternative decision theory purported by Shackle in the 1950s, before expected utility maximization monopolized the scene. Evidence theory does not attempt to formalize the emergence of novelties, but it is a suitable framework for reconstructing the formation of beliefs when novelties appear. An application to decision-making in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry illustrates the potentialities of evidence theory, as well as its shortcomings.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Experimental with number 0207001.

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Date of creation: 19 Jul 2002
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0207001
Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on PC; to print on A4 sheets;
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  1. Ford, J.L. & Ghose, S., 1995. "Ellsberg's Urns, Amiguity and Measures of Uncertainty: Some Experimental Evidence," Discussion Papers 95-12, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  2. Gilboa Itzhak & Schmeidler David, 1993. "Updating Ambiguous Beliefs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 33-49, February.
  3. Donald W. Katzner, 1986. "Potential Surprise, Potential Confirmation, and Probability," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 9(1), pages 58-78, October.
  4. Ford, J.L. & Ghose, S., 1994. "Belief, Credibility, Disbelief, Possibility, Potential Surprise and Probability as Measures of Uncertainty: Some Experimental Evidence," Discussion Papers 94-22, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  5. J. L. Ford, 1987. "Economic Choice Under Uncertainty," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 170.
  6. Sarin, Rakesh K & Wakker, Peter, 1992. "A Simple Axiomatization of Nonadditive Expected Utility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1255-1272, November.
  7. Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
  8. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
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