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Recent developments in modeling preferences: Uncertainty and ambiguity

Abstract

In subjective expected utility (SEU), the decision weights people attach to events are their beliefs about the likelihood of events. Much empirical evidence, inspired by Ellsberg (1961) and others, shows that people prefer to bet on events they know more about, even when their beliefs are held constant. (They are averse to ambiguity, or uncertainty about probability.) We review evidence, recent theoretical explanations, and applications of research on ambiguity and SEU.

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Thanks to Jonathan Baron, James Dow, Peter Fishburn, Itzhak Gilboa, Gordon Hazen, Howard Kunreuther, Tomas Phillipson, David Schmeidler, Amos Tversky, the editor, and several anonymous referees for corrections and helpful comments. Camerer's contribution to this work was supported by the National Science Foundation, grant no. SES 88-09299. Weber's contribution was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsge-meinschaft, grant no. WE 993/5-1.

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Camerer, C., Weber, M. Recent developments in modeling preferences: Uncertainty and ambiguity. J Risk Uncertainty 5, 325–370 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00122575

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Key words

  • ambiguity
  • uncertainty
  • Ellsberg paradox
  • nonexpected utility