Working Paper No. 544

Probabilistic Choice as a Result of Mistakes

Published: December 20, 2000Pages: 18Keywords: Choice; Decision Theory; MistakesJEL-codes: D11; D60; D81

Probabilistic Choice as a Result of Mistakes Lars-Göran Mattsson and Jörgen W. Weibull


We derive a family of probabilistic choice models including the multinomial logit model, from a microeconomic model in which the decision maker has to make some effort in order to avoid mistakes when implementing any desired outcome. The disutility of this effort enters the decision maker's goal function in an additively separable way. A particular disutility function, yielding the multinomial logit and GEV models as special cases, is characterized axiomatically. Unlike the usual random-utility approach, the present approach leads to a normalization of the achieved utility with respect to the number of alternatives. The present model also applies to continuum choice sets in Euclidean spaces, and provides a microeconomic foundation for quantal response models in game theory.

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Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

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