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 Theory and DecisionJournal Prestige (SJR): 0.583 Citation Impact (citeScore): 1Number of Followers: 4      Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles) ISSN (Print) 1573-7187 - ISSN (Online) 0040-5833 Published by Springer-Verlag  [2467 journals]
• Myopic-farsighted absorbing networks

Abstract: Abstract We propose the notion of myopic-farsighted absorbing set to determine the networks that emerge in the long run when some players are myopic while others are farsighted. A set of networks is a myopic-farsighted absorbing set if (No External Deviation) there is no myopic-farsighted improving path from networks within the set to some networks outside the set, (External Stability) there is a myopic-farsighted improving path from any network outside the set to some network within the set, and (Minimality) there is no proper subset satisfying No External Deviation and External Stability. Contrary to the notion of myopic-farsighted stable set, we show that a myopic-farsighted absorbing set always exists. We partially characterize the myopic-farsighted absorbing sets and we provide sufficient conditions for the equivalence between a myopic-farsighted absorbing set and a myopic-farsighted stable set. We also introduce and fully characterize the notion of proper myopic-farsighted absorbing set that refines the concept of myopic-farsighted absorbing set by selecting the more absorbing networks. Finally, we consider a threshold game that illustrates the role of the relative number of farsighted and myopic players for reaching efficiency.
PubDate: 2023-04-01

• On the strong $$\beta$$ -hybrid solution of an N-person game

Abstract: Abstract We propose a new notion of coalitional equilibria, the strong $$\beta$$ -hybrid solution, which is a refinement of the hybrid solution introduced by Zhao. Zhao’s solution is well suited to study situations where people cooperate within coalitions but where coalitions compete with one another. This paper’s solution, as opposed to the hybrid solution, assigns to each coalition a strategy profile that is strongly Pareto optimal. Moreover, like the $$\beta$$ -core, deviations by subcoalitions of any existing coalition are deterred by the threat of a unique counter-strategy available to the non-deviating players. Zhao proved the existence of existence of strong $$\beta$$ -hybrid solution for transferable utility games with compact and convex strategy spaces and concave continuous payoff functions. Here, we extend his result to non-transferable utility games.
PubDate: 2023-04-01

• Intertemporal choice with savoring of yesterday

Abstract: Abstract The problem of intertemporal choice arises when outcomes are received in different moments of time. This paper presents an axiomatic model of intertemporal choice when consumption in the previous moment of time contributes to utility evaluation of consumption in the current moment. This model generalizes classic discounted utility theory (also known as constant or exponential discounting) in two ways. First, in every moment of time, a decision maker derives utility not only from current consumption but also from “residual” consumption in the previous moment of time. Second, these utilities are discounted with weights that are essentially a quasi-hyperbolic discounting function. The paper presents an application of the proposed model to the problem of optimal consumption and savings given a fixed income (wealth). When a decision maker derives satisfaction from both instantaneous consumption as well as a share of consumption in the previous moment of time, optimal consumption path is cyclic—periods of relatively high consumption are interchanged with periods of relatively low consumption. These cycles decay over time. Asymptotically, the consumption path exhibits conventional properties (constant, increasing or decreasing over time when a gross interest rate multiplied by discount factor is correspondingly equal to, greater than, or less than one).
PubDate: 2023-04-01

• Extracting the collective wisdom in probabilistic judgments

Abstract: Abstract How should we combine disagreeing expert judgments on the likelihood of an event' A common solution is simple averaging, which allows independent individual errors to cancel out. However, judgments can be correlated due to an overlap in their information, resulting in a miscalibration in the simple average. Optimal weights for weighted averaging are typically unknown and require past data to estimate reliably. This paper proposes an algorithm to aggregate probabilistic judgments under shared information. Experts are asked to report a prediction and a meta-prediction. The latter is an estimate of the average of other individuals’ predictions. In a Bayesian setup, I show that if average prediction is a consistent estimator, the percentage of predictions and meta-predictions that exceed the average prediction should be the same. An “overshoot surprise” occurs when the two measures differ. The Surprising Overshoot algorithm uses the information revealed in an overshoot surprise to correct for miscalibration in the average prediction. Experimental evidence suggests that the algorithm performs well in moderate to large samples and in aggregation problems where individuals disagree in their predictions.
PubDate: 2023-04-01

• Optimal equilibrium contracts in the infinite horizon with no commitment
across periods

Abstract: Abstract The paper studies equilibrium contracts under adverse selection when there is repeated interaction between a principal and an agent over an infinite horizon, without commitment across periods. We show the second-best contract is offered in a perfect Bayesian equilibrium of the infinite horizon model. Unlike the equilibrium contracts in the finite-horizon, the equilibrium contracts in the infinite horizon are not subject to either the ratchet effect or take-the-money-and-run strategy, but rely on a carrot and stick strategy. We study two important applications, one of which is about the optimal regulation of a publicly-held firm. This application has a mixture of both moral hazard and adverse selection. The other application is to the problem of optimal nonlinear pricing when the valuation of the buyers are drawn from a continuum.
PubDate: 2023-04-01

• When are two portfolios better than one' A prospect theory approach

Abstract: Abstract We investigate whether the display of portfolio performance as coming from one large portfolio or two smaller subportfolios matters to individuals and whether prospect theory can explain this preference. To this end, we run a large survey experiment of 3267 individuals in 5 European countries presenting an identical overall return as coming from one portfolio or two smaller subportfolios to individuals. We also elicited the coefficients of the prospect theory value function through price list lotteries. In losses, following prospect theory and mental accounting predictions, we observe emprically a preference for the display of returns as coming from 2 subportfolios, one displaying a small gain and the other a large loss, over a unique portfolio displaying the aggregated resulting loss. As expected, for an overall gain, individuals favor one portfolio over two subportfolios, one displaying a small loss and the other a larger gain. The shape of the value function does not explain individuals’ preferences. The reference point seems to be the main factor involved in explaining individuals’ choice of two subportfolio presentations of the outcome.
PubDate: 2023-04-01

• When punishers might be loved: fourth-party choices and third-party
punishment in a delegation game

Abstract: Abstract Third-party punishment (TPP) has been shown to be an effective mechanism for maintaining human cooperation. However, it is puzzling how third-party punishment can be maintained, as punishers take on personal costs to punish defectors. Although there is evidence that punishers are preferred as partners because third-party punishment is regarded by bystanders as a costly signal of trustworthiness, other studies show that this signaling value of punishment can be severely attenuated because third-party helping is viewed as a stronger signal of trustworthiness than third-party punishment. Third-party helpers donate their payoffs to victims of defection in games instead of punishing defectors as third-party punishers do. Then, under what circumstances can third-party punishment be maintained by costly signaling when helping is also present' We show that punishers are preferred over helpers by fourth-party individuals as their delegates to deter potential exploitation. This suggests that costly signaling can facilitate the maintenance of third-party punishment in partner choice with delegation interactions.
PubDate: 2023-04-01

• Reasonable doubt

Abstract: Abstract We study the strategic interactions within testing in a model of political agency. A principal decides between convicting and acquitting an agent of unknown innocence based on a noisy signal that is manipulable by the agent’s unobserved actions. We identify conditions under which the principal sets a threshold conviction strategy in the form of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” We show that, in spite of strategic concerns, the amount of information that a principal can glean from the test is entirely determined by the threshold; in equilibrium, the threshold is set where the signal realization conveys just enough information to validate a conviction. As such, the game of testing is analytically equivalent to the principal’s statistical inference problem. We next examine how exogenous shocks on preference parameters affect the principal’s equilibrium threshold and welfare. In general, the principal benefits from being better at distinguishing types; whether she should increase or decrease the threshold depends crucially on whether the agent’s distribution of signals varies with types in the absence of manipulation.
PubDate: 2023-03-22

• Games with possibly naive present-biased players

Abstract: Abstract We propose a solution concept for games that are played among players with present-biased preferences that are possibly naive about their own, or about their opponent’s future time inconsistency. Our perception-perfect outcome essentially requires each player to take an action consistent with the subgame perfect equilibrium, given her perceptions concerning future types, and under the assumption that other present and future players have the same perceptions. Applications include a common pool problem and Rubinstein bargaining. When players are naive about their own time inconsistency and sophisticated about their opponent’s, the common pool problem is exacerbated, and Rubinstein bargaining breaks down completely.
PubDate: 2023-02-17

• Care and anger motives in social dilemmas

Abstract: Abstract This paper provides evidence for the following novel insights: (1) People’s economic decisions depend on their psychological motives, which are shaped predictably by the social context. (2) In particular, the social context influences people’s other-regarding preferences, their beliefs and their perceptions. (3) The influence of the social context on psychological motives can be measured experimentally by priming two antagonistic motives—care and anger—in one player towards another by means of an observance or a violation of a fairness norm. Using a mediation approach, we find that the care motive leads to higher levels of cooperation which are driven by more optimistic beliefs, a different perception of the game as well as by a shift towards more pro-social preferences.
PubDate: 2023-02-07

• The correct formula of 1979 prospect theory for multiple outcomes

Abstract: Abstract Whereas original prospect theory was introduced over 40 years ago, its formula for multi-outcome prospects has never yet been published, resulting in many misunderstandings. This note provides that formula.
PubDate: 2023-02-01

• Continuity postulates and solvability axioms in economic theory and in
mathematical psychology: a consolidation of the theory of individual
choice

Abstract: Abstract This paper presents four theorems that connect continuity postulates in mathematical economics to solvability axioms in mathematical psychology, and ranks them under alternative supplementary assumptions. Theorem 1 connects notions of continuity (full, separate, Wold, weak Wold, Archimedean, mixture) with those of solvability (restricted, unrestricted) under the completeness and transitivity of a binary relation. Theorem 2 uses the primitive notion of a separately continuous function to answer the question when an analogous property on a relation is fully continuous. Theorem 3 provides a portmanteau theorem on the equivalence between restricted solvability and various notions of continuity under weak monotonicity. Finally, Theorem 4 presents a variant of Theorem 3 that follows Theorem 1 in dispensing with the dimensionality requirement and in providing partial equivalences between solvability and continuity notions. These theorems are motivated for their potential use in representation theorems.
PubDate: 2023-02-01

• Decompositions of inequality measures from the perspective of the
Shapley–Owen value

Abstract: Abstract This article proposes three new decompositions of inequality measures, drawn from the framework of cooperative game theory. It allows the impact of players’ interactions, rather than players’ contributions to inequality, to be taken into consideration. These innovative approaches are especially suited for the study of income inequality when the income has a hierarchical structure: the income is composed of several primary sources, with the particularity that each of them is also composed of secondary sources. We revisit the Shapley–Owen value that quantifies the importance of each of these secondary sources in the overall income inequality. Our main contribution is to decompose this importance into two parts: the pure marginal contribution of the considered source and a weighted sum of pairwise interactions. We then provide an axiomatic characterization of each additive interaction decomposable (AID) coalitional value considered in this paper. We give an application of these decompositions in the context of inequality theory.
PubDate: 2023-02-01

• Original position arguments and social choice under ignorance

Abstract: Abstract John Rawls famously argued that the Difference Principle would be chosen by any rational agent in the original position. Derek Parfit and Philippe Van Parijs have claimed, contra Rawls, that it is not the Difference Principle which is implied by Rawls’ original position argument, but rather the more refined Lexical Difference Principle. In this paper, we study both principles in the context of social choice under ignorance. First, we present a general format for evaluating original position arguments in this context. We argue that in this format, the Difference Principle can be specified in three conceptually distinct ways. We show that these three specifications give the same choice recommendations, and can be grounded in an original position argument in combination with the well-known maximin rule. Analogously, we argue that one can give at least four plausible specifications of the Lexical Difference Principle, which however turn out to give different recommendations in concrete choice scenarios. We prove that only one of these four specifications can be grounded in an original position argument. Moreover, this one specification seems the least appealing from the viewpoint of distributive justice. This insight points towards a general weakness of original position arguments.
PubDate: 2023-02-01

• Thoughts matter: a theory of motivated preference

Abstract: Abstract This paper develops a model of individual decision-making under bounded rationality in which discretionary cognitive adjustment creates a durable stock that complements choice of action. While it increases utility, adjustment also entails a cost, because focusing attention optimally is effortful and mental resources are scarce. Associated behavioral phenomena are categorized based on whether the operative motivation in adjusting is forward-looking utility maximization or justification of prior action. The theory is in line with prior conceptions of cognitive dissonance, but also offers a more empirically consistent explanation of the endowment effect, persuasive advertising, and sunk-cost effects than existing accounts.
PubDate: 2023-02-01

• Delegation based on cheap talk

Abstract: Abstract We study a real-effort environment, where a delegator has to decide if and to whom to delegate a task. Applicants send cheap-talk messages about their past performance before the delegator decides. We experimentally test the theoretical prediction that information transmission does not occur in equilibrium. In our experiment, we vary the message space available to the applicants and compare the information transmitted as well as the level of efficiency achieved. Depending on the treatment, applicants can either submit a Number indicating past performance, an Interval in which past performance falls, or a free Text message. We observe that messages contain information in all treatments. Interestingly, information transmission occurs only in the treatments where messages are intervals or free text. Social welfare is higher if messages are intervals or free text than precise numbers. Gender and ethnicity stereotypes only influence delegation in the Number treatment, where no information transmission takes place.
PubDate: 2023-02-01

• Goals and guesses as reference points: a field experiment on student
performance

Abstract: Abstract In this paper, we study overconfidence and goal-setting in academic performance, with and without monetary incentives. Students enrolled in a microeconomics course were offered the possibility of setting their own target grade before taking part in the final exam. They were also asked to guess their grade immediately after they had taken the exam (“post-diction”). In general, students overestimated their performance, both at the goal-setting and at the post-diction stages. Controlling for several sources of this bias (cognitive abilities, academic record and self-reported academic confidence), we find that the use of monetary rewards mitigates the overestimation of potential achievements and eliminates overestimation of actual achievements through the improvement of actual performance. Our results suggest that monetary incentives do not cause subjects to put more effort into correct guesses but make them put more effort into academic performance. Using students’ academic records to measure overall skill, we find a strong Dunning–Kruger bias which is intensified in the presence of monetary rewards.
PubDate: 2023-02-01

• Social evaluation functionals with an arbitrary set of alternatives

Abstract: Abstract This paper explores the concept of a social evaluation functional in the case of an arbitrary set of alternatives. In the first part, a characterization of projective social evaluations functionals is shown whenever the common restricted domain is the set of all bounded utility functions equipped with the supremum norm topology. The result makes a crucial use, among others, of a continuity axiom. In the second part, a comparison meaningful property is introduced for a social evaluation functional which allows us for obtaining a more general result with no continuity requirements. Finally, an impossibility theorem, which is reminiscent of that is obtained by Chichilnisky in (Q J Econ 97:337–352, 1982) but without using topological conditions, is offered.
PubDate: 2023-01-31

• Rationalizable behavior in the Hotelling–Downs model of spatial
competition

Abstract: Abstract We consider two scenarios of the Hotelling–Downs model of spatial competition. This setting has typically been explored using pure Nash equilibrium, but this paper uses point rationalizability (Bernheim, Econometrica J Economet Soc 52(4):1007–1028, 1984) instead. Pure Nash equilibrium imposes a correct beliefs assumption, which may rule out perfectly reasonable choices in a game. Point rationalizability does not have this correct beliefs assumption, which makes this solution concept more natural and permissive. The first scenario is the original Hotelling–Downs model with an arbitrary number of agents. Eaton and Lipsey (Rev Econ Stud 42(1):27–49, 1975) used pure Nash equilibrium as their solution concept for this setting. They showed that with three agents, there does not exist a pure Nash equilibrium. We characterize the set of point rationalizable choices for any number of agents and show that as the number of agents increases, the set of point rationalizable choices increases as well. In the second scenario, agents have limited attraction intervals (Feldman et al. Variations on the Hotelling–Downs model. In: Thirtieth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pp 496–501, 2016). We show that the set of point rationalizable choices does not depend on the number of agents, apart from this number being odd or even. Furthermore, the set of point rationalizable choices shrinks as the attraction interval increases.
PubDate: 2023-01-16
DOI: 10.1007/s11238-022-09922-8

• Desirability relations in Savage’s model of decision making

Abstract: Abstract We propose a model of an agent’s probability and utility that is a compromise between Savage (The foundations of statistics, Wiley, 1954) and Jeffrey (The Logic of Decision, McGraw Hill, 1965). In Savage’s model the probability–utility pair is associated with preferences over acts which are assignments of consequences to states. The probability is defined on the state space, and the utility function on consequences. Jeffrey’s model has no consequences, and both probability and utility are defined on the same set of propositions. The probability–utility pair is associated with a desirability relation on propositions. Like Savage we assume a set of consequences and a state space. However, we assume that states are comprehensive, that is, each state describes a consequence, as in Aumann (Econometrica 55:1–18, 1987). Like Jeffrey, we assume that the agent has a preference relation, which we call desirability, over events, which by definition involves uncertainty about consequences. For a given probability and utility of consequences, the desirability relation is presented by conditional expected utility, given an event. We axiomatically characterize desirability relations that are represented by a probability–utility pair . We characterize the family of all the probability–utility pairs that represent a given desirability relation.
PubDate: 2023-01-01
DOI: 10.1007/s11238-022-09883-y

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