### Research Interests

Economic Theory, Decision Theory, Behavioral Economics

### Papers

**Random Choice as Behavioral Optimization**

with Faruk Gul and Wolfgang Pesendorfer, Econometrica, Vol. 82, No. 5 (September, 2014), 1873–1912

We develop an extension of Luce’s random choice model to study violations of the weak axiom of revealed preference. We introduce the notion of a stochastic preference and show that it implies the Luce model. Then, to addresses well-known difficulties of the Luce model, we define the attribute rule and establish that the existence of a well-defined stochastic preference over attributes characterizes it. We prove that the set of attribute rules and random utility maximizers are essentially the same. Finally, we show that both the Luce and attribute rules have a unique consistent extension to dynamic problems.

**Random Choice and Learning**

Updated October 2017. Journal of Political Economy, forthcoming.

Context-dependent individual choice challenges the principle of utility maximization. We explain context-dependence as the optimal response of an imperfectly informed agent to the ease of comparison of the options. We introduce a discrete-choice model, the *Bayesian probit*, which allows the analyst to identify stable preferences from context-dependent choice data. Our model accommodates observed behavioral phenomena —including the attraction and compromise effects— that lie beyond the scope of any random utility model. We use data from frog mating choices (Lea and Ryan, 2015) to illustrate how our model can outperform the random utility framework in goodness of fit and out-of-sample prediction.

**Subjective Ambiguity and Preference for Flexibility **

Updated January 2016. AEJ: Microeconomics, revise and resubmit.

A preference over menus is monotonic when every menu is at least as good as any of its subsets. The main result is that any numerical representation for a monotonic preference can be written in minimax form. The representation suggests a decision maker who faces uncertainty about her own future tastes and who exhibits an extreme form of ambiguity aversion with respect to this subjective uncertainty. In a setting with a finite number of alternatives, this generalizes Kreps' (1979) seminal characterization of preference for flexibility, and clarifies the consequences of his last axiom, ordinal submodularity. While the remaining axioms are equivalent to the existence of a (weakly) increasing aggregator of second period maximal utilities, ordinal submodularity holds if and only if this aggregator can be taken to be strictly increasing. [Slides]

**Random Evolving Lotteries and Intrinsic Preference for information**

(with Faruk Gul and Wolfgang Pesendorfer) Updated April 2017.

**Preference Reversal or Limited Sampling? Maybe túngara frogs are rational after all.**

(This working paper is superseded by *Random Choice and Learning, forthcoming, JPE**)*

[Paper][Slides] November 2016

### Work in Progress

Closed-form Choice Probabilities in the Multinomial Probit Model

Similarity and Substitutability in Random Choice [Slides]

Sour Grapes and Optimal Expectations [Slides]

Moderate Expected Utility