A Theory of Subjective Learning, Second Version
30 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2013
Date Written: March 18, 2013
We study an individual who faces a dynamic decision problem in which the process of information arrival is unobserved by the analyst. We elicit subjective information directly from choice behavior by deriving two utility representations of preferences over menus of acts. The most general representation identifies a unique probability distribution over the set of posteriors that the decision maker might face at the time of choosing from the menu. We use this representation to characterize a notion of "more preference for flexibility" via a subjective analogue of Blackwell’s (1951, 1953) comparisons of experiments. A more specialized representation uniquely identifies information as a partition of the state space. This result allows us to compare individuals who expect to learn differently, even if they do not agree on their prior beliefs. On the extended domain of dated-menus, we show how to accommodate an individual who expects to learn gradually over time by means of a subjective filtration.
Keywords: Subjective learning, partitional learning, preference for flexibility, resolution of uncertainty, valuing more binary bets, subjective filtration, dated-menus
JEL Classification: D80, D81, D82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation