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Probabilistic independence axiom

Pavlo Blavatskyy ()
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Pavlo Blavatskyy: Montpellier Business School

The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, 2021, vol. 46, issue 1, No 2, 34 pages

Abstract: Abstract One of the most well-known theories of decision making under risk is expected utility theory based on the independence axiom. The independence axiom postulates that decision maker’s preferences between two lotteries are not affected by mixing both lotteries with the same third lottery (in identical proportions). The probabilistic independence axiom (also known as the cancelation axiom) extends this classic independence axiom to situations when a decision maker chooses in a probabilistic manner (i.e., she does not necessarily prefer the same choice alternative when repeatedly presented with the same choice set). Probabilistic choice may occur for a variety of reasons such as unobserved attributes of choice alternatives, imprecision of preferences, random errors/noise in decisions. According to probabilistic independence axiom, the probability that a decision maker chooses one lottery over another does not change when both lotteries are mixed with the same third lottery (in identical proportions). This paper presents a model of probabilistic binary choice under risk based on this probabilistic independence axiom. The presented model generalizes an incremental expected utility advantage model of Fishburn (Int Econ Rev 19(3):633–646, 1978) and stronger utility model of Blavatskyy (Theory Decis 76(2):265–286, 2014).

Keywords: Decision making; Risk; Independence axiom; Probabilistic choice (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D81 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1057/s10713-019-00046-8

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