An expected utility theory for state-dependent preferences

Theory and Decision 81 (4):467-478 (2016)
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Abstract

This note is a generalization and improved interpretation of the main result of Karni and Schmeidler. A decision-maker is supposed to possess a preference relation on acts and another preference relation on state-prize lotteries, both of which are assumed to satisfy the von Neumann–Morgenstern axioms. In addition, the two preference relations restricted to a state of nature are assumed to agree. We show that these axioms are necessary and sufficient for the existence of subjective expected utility over acts with state-dependent utility functions and a subjective probability measure. This subjective probability measure is unique when conditioned on the set of states of nature in which not all the prizes are equally desirable.

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