CFDP 2180

Boolean Expected Utility


Publication Date: June 2019

Pages: 39


We propose a multiple-prior model of preferences under ambiguity that provides a unified lens through which to understand different formalizations of ambiguity aversion, as well as context-dependent negative and positive ambiguity attitudes documented in experiments. This model, Boolean expected utility (BEU), represents the belief the decision-maker uses to evaluate any uncertain prospect as the outcome of a game between two conflicting forces, Pessimism and Optimism. We prove, first, that BEU provides a novel representation of the class of invariant biseparable preferences (Ghirardato, Maccheroni, and Marinacci, 2004). Second, BEU accommodates rich patterns of ambiguity attitudes, which we characterize in terms of the relative power allocated to each force in the game. 

Keywords: Multiple priors, Ambiguity aversion

JEL Classification Codes: D81

JEL Classification Codes: D81

See CFDP Version(s): CFDP 2180RCFDP 2180R2CFDP 2180R3