Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 19-35

First online:

A test of rank-dependent utility in the context of ambiguity

  • Hein FennemaAffiliated withNICI, University of Nijmegen
  • , Peter WakkerAffiliated withMedical Decision Making Unit, University of Leiden

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Experimental investigations of non-expected utility have primarily concentrated on decision under risk (“probability triangles”). The literature suggests, however, that ambiguity is one of the main causes for deviations from expected utility (EU). This article investigates the descriptive performance of rank-dependent utility (RDU) in the context of choice under ambiguity. We use the axiomatic difference between RDU and EU to critically test RDU against EU. Surprisingly, the RDU model does not provide any descriptive improvement over EU. Our data suggest other “framing” factors that do provide descriptive improvements over EU.

Key words

ambiguity rank dependence non-expected utility comonotonicity presentation effects

IEL code