Theory and Decision

, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 255–282

Interval scalability of rank-dependent utility



Luce and Narens (Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 29:1–72, 1985) showed that rank-dependent utility (RDU) is the most general interval scale utility model for binary lotteries. It can be easily established that this result cannot be generalized to lotteries with more than two outcomes. This article suggests several additional conditions to ensure RDU as the only utility model with the desired property of interval scalability in the general case. The related axiomatizations of some special cases of RDU of independent interest (the quantile utility, expected utility, and Yaari’s dual expected utility) are also given.


Rank-dependent utility Interval scalability Meaningfulness 

JEL Classification



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. Petersburg Institute for Economics and Mathematics RASSt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.European University at St. PetersburgSt. PetersburgRussia

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