A Simple Tool for Qualitatively Testing, Quantitatively Measuring, and Normatively Justifying Savage's Subjective Expected Utility

P.P. Wakker*, V. Koebberling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Web of Science)


This paper introduces a new preference condition that can be used to justify (or criticize) expected utility. The approach taken in this paper is an alternative to savage's, and is accessible to readers without a mathematical background. It is based on a method for deriving “comparisons of tradeoffs” from ordinal preferences. Our condition simplifies previously-published tradeoff conditions, and at the same time provides more general and more powerful tools to specialists. The condition is more closely related to empirical methods for measuring utility than its predecessors. It provides a unifying tool for qualitatively testing, quantitatively measuring, and normatively justifying expected utility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-145
JournalJournal of Risk and Uncertainty
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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