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Rationalizing Boundedly Rational Choice

  • Paola Manzini

    (Queen Mary, University of London & IZA)

  • Marco Mariotti

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

A Rational Shortlist Method (RSM) translates into economic language some sequential choice heuristics studied in psychology. We show that the use of this boundedly rational procedure can be detected from observed choice data through tests that are very similar to those used to detect `rational' choice (such as Samuelson's WARP). Yet, RSMs are compatible with some highly `irrational' patterns of choice observed in experiments, such as pairwise cycles. We also provide partial results on a generalization of RSMs.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/mic/papers/0407/0407005.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Microeconomics with number 0407005.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 12 Jul 2004
Date of revision: 21 Jul 2005
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0407005
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 26
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Eliaz, Kfir & Ok, Efe A., 2006. "Indifference or indecisiveness? Choice-theoretic foundations of incomplete preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 61-86, July.
  2. Wulf Gaertner & Yongsheng Xu, 1999. "On rationalizability of choice functions: A characterization of the median," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 629-638.
  3. Sen, A., 1996. "Maximisation and the Act of Choice," Papers 270, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  4. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2002. "A vague theory of choice over time," Game Theory and Information 0203004, EconWPA, revised 21 Jun 2002.
  5. Gil Kalai & Ariel Rubenstein & Ran Spiegler, 2001. "Rationalizing Choice Functions by Multiple Rationales," Economics Working Papers 0010, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  6. Wulf Gaertner & Yongsheng Xu, 1999. "On the structure of choice under different external references," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 609-620.
  7. Mandler, Michael, 2005. "Incomplete preferences and rational intransitivity of choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 255-277, February.
  8. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  9. Moulin, Herve, 1994. "Social choice," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 31, pages 1091-1125 Elsevier.
  10. Klaus Nehring, 1997. "Rational choice and revealed preference without binariness," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 403-425.
  11. Baigent, Nick & Gaertner, Wulf, 1996. "Never Choose the Uniquely Largest: A Characterization," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 239-49, August.
  12. Masatlioglu, Yusufcan & Ok, Efe A., 2005. "Rational choice with status quo bias," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 1-29, March.
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