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Ambiguity and Social Interaction

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  • Eichberger, Jürgen

    () (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

  • Kelsey, David

    () (Department of Economics, The University of Birmingham)

  • Schipper, Burkhard

    () (University of California, Davis Department of Economics)

Abstract

We examine the impact of ambiguity on economic behaviour. We present a relatively non-technical account of ambiguity and show how it may be applied in economics. Optimistic and pessimistic responses to ambiguity are formally modelled. We show that pessimism has the effect of increasing (decreasing) equilibrium prices under Cournot (Bertrand) competition. We also examine the effects of ambiguity on peace processes. It is shown that ambiguity can act to select equilibria in coordination games with multiple equilibria. Some comparative statics results are derived for the impact of ambiguity in games with strategic complements.

Suggested Citation

  • Eichberger, Jürgen & Kelsey, David & Schipper, Burkhard, 2003. "Ambiguity and Social Interaction," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 03-30, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  • Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:03-30
    Note: Research in part supported by ESRC grant no. R000222597. We would like to acknowledge helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper from seminar participants at the Australian National University, the Universities of Alabama, Birmingham, Berlin (Humboldt) and from participants of the meeting of the Royal Economic Society and the European Economic Association. Special thanks go to Sujoy Mukerji who instigated our interest in this topic and to Jeffrey Kline who pointed out a mistake in an earlier version of the paper. We would also like to thank Simon Grant, Wei Pang, Marzia Raybaudi-Massilia, Peter Sinclair and Willy Spanjers for their comments. The usual disclaimer applies.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Felipe Zurita, 2005. "Beyond Earthquakes: The New Directions of Expected Utility Theory," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 42(126), pages 209-255.
    2. Sandra Ludwig & Julia Nafziger, 2011. "Beliefs about overconfidence," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(4), pages 475-500, April.
    3. Eichberger, Jürgen & Grant, Simon & Lefort, Jean-Philippe, 2008. "Neo-additive capacities and updating," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 08-31, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    4. David Kelsey & Tigran Melkonyan, 2014. "Contests with Ambiguity," Discussion Papers 1411, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
    5. Bell, William Paul, 2009. "Adaptive interactive expectations: dynamically modelling profit expectations," MPRA Paper 38260, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 09 Feb 2010.
    6. Aldred, Jonathan, 2013. "Justifying precautionary policies: Incommensurability and uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 132-140.
    7. Schipper, Burkhard C., 2005. "The Evolutionary Stability of Optimism, Pessimism and Complete Ignorance," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 68, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    8. Gérard Mondello, 2012. "Ambiguity, Agency Relationships and Adverse Selection," Post-Print halshs-00929978, HAL.
    9. Jürgen Eichberger & David Kelsey, 2011. "Are the treasures of game theory ambiguous?," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 48(2), pages 313-339, October.
    10. David Kelsey & Sara Roux, 2015. "An experimental study on the effect of ambiguity in a coordination game," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 79(4), pages 667-688, December.
    11. Diamantaras, Dimitrios & Gilles, Robert P., 2011. "Ambiguity, social opinion and the use of common property resources," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 210-222.
    12. Giuseppe De Marco & Maria Romaniello, 2015. "On Games and Equilibria with Coherent Lower Expectations," CSEF Working Papers 397, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    13. Raab, Philippe & Schipper, Burkhard C., 2009. "Cournot competition between teams: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 691-702, November.
    14. De Marco, Giuseppe & Romaniello, Maria, 2013. "A limit theorem for equilibria under ambiguous belief correspondences," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 431-438.
    15. Yaozhong Wu & Christoph H. Loch & Ludo Van der Heyden, 2008. "A Model of Fair Process and Its Limits," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 10(4), pages 637-653, June.
    16. De Marco, Giuseppe & Romaniello, Maria, 2010. "Ambiguous games with contingent beliefs," MPRA Paper 27507, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Jürgen Eichberger & David Kelsey & Burkhard Schipper, 2008. "Granny Versus Game Theorist: Ambiguity in Experimental Games," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 64(2), pages 333-362, March.
    18. Frank Riedel & Linda Sass, 2014. "Ellsberg games," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 469-509, April.
    19. Bell, William Paul, 2009. "Network Averaging: a technique for determining a proxy for the dynamics of networks," MPRA Paper 38026, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Takanori Adachi & Takao Asano, 2011. "Entrepreneurial Choice and Knightian Uncertainty with Borrowing Constraints," KIER Working Papers 803, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    21. Kauffeldt, Florian & Wiesenfarth, Boris, 2014. "Confidence, Pessimism and their Impact on Product Differentiation in a Hotelling Model with Demand Location Uncertainty," Working Papers 0562, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    22. Adam Dominiak & Jean-Philippe Lefort, 2013. "Agreement theorem for neo-additive beliefs," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 52(1), pages 1-13, January.
    23. Carmela Di Mauro & Massimo Finocchiaro Castro, 2011. "Kindness, confusion, or … ambiguity?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 611-633, November.

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    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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