A Criticism of Bernheim & Sprenger’s (2020) Tests of Rank Dependence

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Bernheim and Sprenger (2020, Econometrica; SB) claimed to experimentally falsify rank dependence in prospect theory. This paper criticizes SB's results and novelty claims. Their experiments only captured well-known heuristics and not genuine preferences. Many falsifications of rank dependence have been made before, and SB's equalizing reductions have also been used before. SB thought to identify probability weighting and utility where they are unidentifiable, invalidating all SB's related claims. SB used an incorrect formula of original prospect theory. Their suggested alternative of rank-independent probability weighting with dependence on the number of outcomes (their “complexity aversion;” a misnomer) has long been discarded.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101950
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

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