Purity, Resistance, and Innocence in Utility Theory

Theory and Decision 64 (2-3):109-118 (2008)

Abstract

This note addresses 3 issues that seem to pervade much of economic thought about individual decisions among uncertain alternatives: (1) Restricting primitives to just orderings of first-order gambles and not admitting, e.g., compound acts or joint receipt of consequences and gambles. (2) Great resistance to experimental findings that strongly suggest that most current theories fail descriptively. (3) Taking for granted the innocence of some assumptions when, in fact, they are not innocent, e.g., that constant acts are idempotent. My conclusion is that these restrictions have greatly inhibited developments in utility theory

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References found in this work

A Mathematical Theory of Communication.Claude E. Shannon - 1948 - Bell System Technical Journal 27:379–423.
Towards a More Precise Decision Framework.Robin Pope - 1995 - Theory and Decision 39 (3):241-265.
On Elements of Chance.R. Duncan Luce & Anthony A. J. Marley - 2000 - Theory and Decision 49 (2):97-126.

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