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Todd Sarver

Professor of Economics
Economics

Selected Publications


Adaptive preferences: An evolutionary model of non-expected utility and ambiguity aversion

Journal Article Journal of Economic Theory · June 1, 2024 We enrich an evolutionary model with common and idiosyncratic uncertainty as in Robson (1996) by allowing for hidden actions (or phenotypic flexibility). In contexts where common uncertainty is ambiguous and idiosyncratic uncertainty is risky, the model ge ... Full text Cite

Behavioral Characterizations of Naiveté for Time-Inconsistent Preferences

Journal Article Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper · November 18, 2018 Cite

Naiveté About Temptation and Self-Control: Foundations for Naive Quasi-Hyperbolic Discounting

Journal Article Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper · February 2, 2018 Cite

Dynamic Mixture-Averse Preferences

Journal Article Econometrica · January 1, 2018 Featured Publication To study intertemporal decisions under risk, we develop a new recursive model of non-expected-utility preferences. The main axiom of our analysis is called mixture aversion, as it captures a dislike of probabilistic mixtures of lotteries. Our representatio ... Full text Cite

Behavioral Characterizations of Naiveté for Time-Inconsistent Preferences

Scholarly Edition · November 14, 2016 We propose nonparametric definitions of absolute and comparative naiveté. These definitions leverage ex-ante choice of menu to identify predictions of future behavior and ex-post (random) choices from menus to identify actual behavior. The main advantage o ... Open Access Cite

Hidden actions and preferences for timing of resolution of uncertainty

Journal Article Theoretical Economics · May 1, 2015 We study preferences for timing of resolution of objective uncertainty in a menu-choice model with two stages of information arrival. We characterize a general class of utility representations called hidden action representations, which interpret an intrin ... Full text Cite

Preference for Flexibility and Random Choice

Journal Article Econometrica · 2013 Full text Cite

The unique minimal dual representation of a convex function

Journal Article Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications · October 1, 2010 Suppose (i) X is a separable Banach space, (ii) C is a convex subset of X that is a Baire space (when endowed with the relative topology) such that aff(C) is dense in X, and (iii) f:C→R is locally Lipschitz continuous and convex. The Fenchel-Moreau duality ... Full text Cite

A Unique costly contemplation representation

Journal Article Econometrica · July 1, 2010 We study preferences over menus which can be represented as if the individual is uncertain of her tastes, but is able to engage in costly contemplation before selecting an alternative from a menu. Since contemplation is costly, our key axiom, aversion to c ... Full text Cite

Anticipating regret: Why fewer options may be better

Journal Article Econometrica · January 1, 2008 We study preferences over menus which can be represented as if the agent selects an alternative from a menu and experiences regret if her choice is ex post inferior. Since regret arises from comparisons between the alternative selected and the other availa ... Full text Cite

Representing preferences with a unique subjective state space: A corrigendum

Journal Article Econometrica · March 1, 2007 Dekel, Lipman and Rustichini (2001) (henceforth DLR) axiomatically characterized three representations of preferences that allow for a desire for flexibility and/or commitment. In one of these representations (ordinal expected utility), the independence ax ... Full text Cite

Correlated equilibrium in evolutionary models with subpopulations

Journal Article Games and Economic Behavior · August 1, 2006 We study a version of the multipopulation replicator dynamics, where each population is comprised of multiple subpopulations. We establish that correlated equilibrium is a natural solution concept in this setting. Specifically, we show that every correlate ... Full text Cite