Indecisiveness, undesirability and overload revealed through rational choice deferral

Georgios Gerasimou

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Three reasons why decision makers may defer choice are indecisiveness between various 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-permitting 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 not defer, he chooses a most preferred feasible option. Active choices are therefore always consistent with the Weak Axiom of Revealed Preference. The three models suggest novel
    ways in which observable data can be used to recover preferences as well as their indecisiveness, desirability and complexity components or thresholds.
    Several examples illustrate the relevance of these models for empirical and
    theoretical work.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2450-2479
    JournalThe Economic Journal
    Issue number614
    Early online date24 Mar 2017
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


    • Choice deferral
    • Incomplete preferences
    • Indecisiveness
    • Unattractiveness
    • Choice overload
    • Revealed preference
    • Rational choice


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