A Million Answers to Twenty Questions: Choosing by Checklist

26 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2008 Last revised: 25 Jul 2008

See all articles by Michael Mandler

Michael Mandler

University of London, Royal Holloway College - Department of Economics

Paola Manzini

University of St. Andrews - School of Economics and Finance; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Marco Mariotti

University of London - School of Economics and Finance

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 1, 2008

Abstract

Many decision models in marketing science and psychology assume that a consumer chooses by proceeding sequentially through a checklist of desirable properties. These models are contrasted to the utility maximization model of rationality in economics. We show on the contrary that the two approaches are nearly equivalent. Moreover, the length of the shortest checklist as a proportion of the number of an agent's indifference classes shrinks to 0 (at an exponential rate) as the number of indifference classes increases. Checklists therefore provide a rapid procedural basis for utility maximization.

Keywords: Bounded rationality, procedural rationality, utility maximization, choice behavior

JEL Classification: D01

Suggested Citation

Mandler, Michael and Manzini, Paola and Mariotti, Marco, A Million Answers to Twenty Questions: Choosing by Checklist (July 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1098273 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1098273

Michael Mandler

University of London, Royal Holloway College - Department of Economics ( email )

Royal Holloway College
University of London
Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX
United Kingdom
+44 1784 443985 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.rhul.ac.uk/uhte/035/

Paola Manzini (Contact Author)

University of St. Andrews - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

North St
Saint Andrews, Fife KY16 9AJ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~pm210/

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Marco Mariotti

University of London - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

Mile End Road
London, E1 4NS
United Kingdom

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