On the Likelihood of Cyclic Comparisons

Economics

Speaker:Professor Uzi Segal, Department of Economics, Boston College
Date: Wednesday 9 May 2012
Time: 16.15
Location: STC/D

Further details

One problem caused by cycles of choice functions is indecisiveness — decision makers will be paralyzed when they face choice sets with more than two options. We investigate the procedure of “random sampling” where the alternatives are random variables. When comparing any two alternatives, the decision maker samples each of the alternatives once and ranks them according to the comparison between the two realizations. We show that while this procedure may lead to violations of transitivity, the probability of such cycles is bounded from above by 8/27 . Even lower bounds are obtained for some other related procedures. JEL Classification numbers: C90, D01, D81.