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Indecisiveness, Undesirability and Overload Revealed Through Rational Choice Deferral

Gerasimou, Georgios (2015): Indecisiveness, Undesirability and Overload Revealed Through Rational Choice Deferral.

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Abstract

Three reasons why decision makers may defer choice are *indecisiveness* between feasible options, *unattractiveness* of these options and *choice overload*. This paper provides a choice-theoretic explanation for each of these phenomena by means of three deferral-permissive models of decision making that are driven by preference incompleteness, undesirability and complexity constraints, respectively. These models feature *rational* choice deferral in the sense that whenever the individual does choose an option from a menu, this is a most preferred option in that menu, so that choices are always WARP-consistent. The models also allow for the use of observable data to recover the individual's preferences and, where applicable, the indecisiveness and undesirability components of these preferences.

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