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Similarity-based mistakes in choice

Fernando Payró and Levent Ülkü ()

Journal of Mathematical Economics, 2015, vol. 61, issue C, 152-156

Abstract: We characterize the following choice procedure. The decision maker is endowed with two binary relations over alternatives, a preference and a similarity. In every choice problem she includes in her choice set all alternatives which are similar to the best feasible alternative. Hence she can, by mistake, choose an inferior option because it is similar to the best. We characterize this boundedly rational behavior by suitably weakening the rationalizability axiom of Arrow (1959). We also characterize a variation where the decision maker chooses alternatives on the basis of their similarities to attractive yet infeasible options. We show that similarity-based mistakes of either kind lead to cyclical behavior. Finally, we reinterpret our procedure as a method for choosing a bundle given a set of individual items, in which the decision maker combines the best feasible item with those that complement it.

Keywords: Bounded rationality; Similarity; Mistakes; Cyclic choice (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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