An Evolutionary Perspective on Updating Risk and Ambiguity Preferenceswith Todd Sarver [May 2021].

Using an approach predicated on evolution and adaptation, we provide foundations for a model of choice under uncertainty based on adaptive preferences. We argue that our approach can be applied in most contexts involving ambiguity, and we show that adaptive preferences nest variants of several established models of ambiguity and risk preferences as special cases. Our model provides a tight connection between ambiguity attitudes and violations of expected utility, and it generates novel predictions about the role of random choice in hedging against ambiguity. We also find that updating of adaptive preferences in response to new information respects dynamic consistency even at the cost of violating consequentialism, addressing a prominent tension in the ambiguity and non-expected-utility literature.

Information-dependent Utilities and Beliefswith David Dillenberger and R. Vijay Krishna [April 2020].

We axiomatize a model of preferences over menus of acts in which not only beliefs but also state-dependent utilities depend on the individual’s choice of information. Our most general model features both contemplation about the appropriate way to evaluate alternatives as well as acquisition of information about the payoff relevant state of the world, before a choice is made. We then focus on the special case where the value of alternatives depends directly and exclusively on the state of the world and on the choice of information about that state.