Date of Original Version

12-1995

Type

Article

Abstract or Description

This essay considers decision-theoretic foundations for robust Bayesian statistics. We modify the approach of Ramsey, de Finetti, Savage and Anscombe and Aumann in giving axioms for a theory of robust preferences. We establish that preferences which satisfy axioms for robust preferences can be represented by a set of expected utilities. In the presence of two axioms relating to state-independent utility, robust preferences are represented by a set of probability/utility pairs, where the utilities are almost state-independent (in a sense which we make precise). Our goal is to focus on preference alone and to extract whatever probability and/or utility information is contained in the preference relation when that is merely a partial order. This is in contrast with the usual approach to Bayesian robustness that begins with a class of "priors" or "likelihoods," and a single loss function, in order to derive preferences from these probability/utility assumptions.

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