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Rubinstein2005-page42 - as a hypothetical response to a...

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October 21, 2005 12:18 master Sheet number 40 Page number 24 LECTURE 3 Choice Choice Functions Until now we have avoided any reference to behavior. We have talked about preferences as a summary of the decision maker’s men- tal attitude toward a set of alternatives. But economics is about behavior, and therefore we now move on to modeling an agent’s choice. The term “agent’s behavior” contains not only the specifi- cation of the agent’s actual choices made when he confronts certain choice problems, it also contains a full description of his behavior in all scenarios we imagine he might confront. Consider a grand set X of possible alternatives. We view a choice problem as a nonempty subset of X , and we refer to a choice from A X as specifying one of A ’s members. We think about behavior
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Unformatted text preview: as a hypothetical response to a questionnaire that contains many questions of the following type: Q(A) : Assume you have to choose from a set of alternatives A . Which alternative would you choose?____ A legal response to this questionnaire requires responding to all questions by indicating a unique element in A for every question Q ( A ) . In some contexts, not all questions are meaningful. Therefore we allow that the questionnaire consist of a subset of questions, one for each element of a set D of subsets of X . We will refer to a pair ( X , D ) as a context . Example: Imagine that we are interested in a student’s behavior regarding his selection from the set of universities to which he has been admitted....
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