Social Choice and Welfare

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

Confidence in preferences

  • Brian Hill
Original Paper


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.


Social Preference Choice Function Choice Rule Choice Situation Social Choice Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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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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