Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 39, Issue 2–3, pp 273–302 | Cite as

Confidence in preferences

Original Paper

Abstract

Indeterminate preferences have long been a tricky subject for choice theory. One reason for which preferences may be less than fully determinate is the lack of confidence in one’s preferences. In this paper, a representation of confidence in preferences is proposed. It is used to develop and axiomatise an account of the role of confidence in choice which rests on the following intuition: the more important the decision to be taken, the more confidence is required in the preferences needed to take it. This theory provides a natural account of when an agent should defer a decision; namely, when the importance of the decision exceeds his confidence in the relevant preferences. Possible applications of the notion of confidence in preferences to social choice are briefly explored.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNRS & HEC Paris, GREGHEC, HEC ParisJouy-en-JosasFrance

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