Theory and Decision

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 249–262

A Process Approach to the Utility for Gambling


DOI: 10.1023/A:1010325930290

Cite this article as:
Le Menestrel, M. Theory and Decision (2001) 50: 249. doi:10.1023/A:1010325930290


This paper argues that any specific utility or disutility for gambling must be excluded from expected utility because such a theory is consequential while a pleasure or displeasure for gambling is a matter of process, not of consequences. A (dis)utility for gambling is modeled as a process utility which monotonically combines with expected utility restricted to consequences. This allows for a process (dis)utility for gambling to be revealed. As an illustration, the model shows how empirical observations in the Allais paradox can reveal a process disutility of gambling. A more general model of rational behavior combining processes and consequences is then proposed and discussed.

GamblingExpected utilityProcess utilityRationalityConsequentialism

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departament d'Economia i Empresa, Ramon Trias VargasMarc le Menestrel, Universitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain