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A note on consequentialism in a dynamic Savage framework: a comment on Ghirardato (2002)


The relationship between subjective expected utility with Bayesian updating and dynamic properties of choice has been formalized in Ghirardato (Econ Theory 83–92, 2002). In such a setup, with preferences defined over functions from states to consequences as in Savage (The foundation of statistics, 1954), strong dynamic consistency implies consequentialism. More precisely, we show that Axiom 7 in Ghirardato (Econ Theory 83–92, 2002). is redundant or alternatively dynamic consistency can be weakened while retaining the results.

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  1. 1.

    This corresponds to Axiom 2b in Ghirardato (2002).

  2. 2.

    If we were to enlarge the choice set and allow the decision maker to differentiate ex-ante between differently composed acts yielding the same consequences, the result would no longer obtain. Clearly, such preferences do not have an EU representation.


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We are grateful to Paolo Ghirardato and Nabil Al-Najjar for helpful comments.

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Correspondence to Franz Ostrizek.

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Hubmer, J., Ostrizek, F. A note on consequentialism in a dynamic Savage framework: a comment on Ghirardato (2002). Econ Theory Bull 3, 265–269 (2015).

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  • Dynamic consistency
  • Consequentialism
  • Subjective expected utility

JEL Classification

  • D81