The Rich Domain of Uncertainty: Source Functions and Their Experimental Implementation.

M Abdellaoui, Aurelien Baillon, L Placido, Peter Wakker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

250 Citations (Scopus)


We often deal with uncertain events for which no probabilities are known. Several normative models have been proposed. Descriptive studies have usually been qualitative, or they estimated ambiguity aversion through one single number. This paper introduces the source method, a tractable method for quantitatively analyzing uncertainty empirically. The theoretical key is the distinction between different sources of uncertainty, within which subjective (choice-based) probabilities can still be defined. Source functions convert those subjective probabilities into willingness to bet. We apply our method in an experiment, where we do not commit to particular ambiguity attitudes but let the data speak.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-723
Number of pages29
JournalThe American Economic Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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