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An experimental test of the Anscombe-Aumann Monotonicity axiom

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  • Florian Schneider
  • Martin Schonger

Abstract

Most models of ambiguity aversion satisfy Anscombe-Aumann’s Monotonicity axiom. Monotonicity imposes separability of preferences across events that occur with unknown probability. We construct a test of Monotonicity by modifying the Allais paradox to a setting with both subjective and objective uncertainty. Two experimental studies are conducted: while study 1 uses U.S. online workers and a natural source of ambiguity, study 2 employs European students and an Ellsberg urn. In both studies, modal behavior violates Monotonicity in a specific, intuitive way. Overall, our data suggest that violations of Monotonicity are as prevalent as violations of von Neumann-Morgenstern’s Independence axiom.

Suggested Citation

  • Florian Schneider & Martin Schonger, 2015. "An experimental test of the Anscombe-Aumann Monotonicity axiom," ECON - Working Papers 207, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised May 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:207
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    File URL: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp207.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chateauneuf, Alain & Faro, José Heleno, 2009. "Ambiguity through confidence functions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(9-10), pages 535-558, September.
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    5. Burke, Michael S & Carter, John R. & Gominiak, Robert D. & Ohl, Daniel F, 1996. "An Experimental Note on the Allais Paradox and Monetary Incentives," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 617-632.
    6. Chew, Soo Hong, 1983. "A Generalization of the Quasilinear Mean with Applications to the Measurement of Income Inequality and Decision Theory Resolving the Allais Paradox," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1065-1092, July.
    7. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    8. Cerreia-Vioglio, S. & Maccheroni, F. & Marinacci, M. & Montrucchio, L., 2011. "Uncertainty averse preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(4), pages 1275-1330, July.
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    11. Craig R. Fox & Amos Tversky, 1995. "Ambiguity Aversion and Comparative Ignorance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 585-603.
    12. Gilboa,Itzhak, 2009. "Theory of Decision under Uncertainty," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521741231.
    13. Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1991. "Does the Random-Lottery Incentive System Elicit True Preferences? An Experimental Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 971-978, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Trautmann & Peter P. Wakker, 2018. "Making the Anscombe-Aumann approach to ambiguity suitable for descriptive applications," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 83-116, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ambiguity aversion; monotonicity; Anscombe-Aumann; Allais paradox; experiments;

    JEL classification:

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

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