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Is It Always Rational to Satisfy Savage's Axioms?

Abstract : This note argues that, under some circumstances, it is more rational not to behave in accordance with a Bayesian prior than to do so. The starting point is that in the absence of information, choosing a prior is arbitrary. If the prior is to have meaningful implications, it is more rational to admit that one does not have sufficient information to generate a prior than to pretend that one does. This suggests a view of rationality that requires a compromise between internal coherence and justification, similarly to compromises that appear in moral dilemmas. Finally, it is argued that Savage's axioms are more compelling when applied to a naturally given state space than to an analytically constructed one, in the latter case, it may be more rational to violate the axioms than to be Bayesian.
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https://hal-hec.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00493170
Contributor : Antoine Haldemann <>
Submitted on : Friday, June 18, 2010 - 10:42:56 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 6:19:31 AM

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Itzhak Gilboa, Andrew Postlewaite, David Schmeidler. Is It Always Rational to Satisfy Savage's Axioms?. Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2009, Vol.25,nº3, pp.285-297. ⟨10.1017/S0266267109990241⟩. ⟨hal-00493170⟩

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