Working Papers
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Paper #  Author  Title  

13037 
Simone CerreiaVioglio David Dillenberger Pietro Ortoleva 
"Cautious Expected Utility and the Certainty Effect"  
Many violations of the Independence axiom of Expected Utility can be traced to subjects' attraction to riskfree prospects. Negative Certainty Independence, the key axiom in this paper, formalizes this tendency. Our main result is a utility representation of all preferences over monetary lotteries that satisfy Negative Certainty Independence together with basic rationality postulates. Such preferences can be represented as if the agent were unsure of how risk averse to be when evaluating a lottery p; instead, she has in mind a set of possible utility functions over outcomes and displays a cautious behavior: she computes the certainty equivalent of p with respect to each possible function in the set and picks the smallest one. The set of utilities is unique in a welldefined sense. We show that our representation can also be derived from a `cautious' completion of an incomplete preference relation. Download Paper
