CFDP 1294

Expected Utility Theory without the Completeness Axiom


Publication Date: January 2001

Pages: 12


We study axiomatically the problem of obtaining an expected utility representation for a potentially incomplete preference relation over lotteries by means of a set of von Neumann-Morgenstern utility functions. It is shown that, when the prize space is a compact metric space, a preference relation admits such a multi-utility representation provided that it satisfies the standard axioms of expected utility theory. Moreover, the representing set of utilities is unique in a well-defined sense.


Expected utility, incomplete preferences

JEL Classification Codes:  D11, D81