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Published January 2018 | Published
Journal Article Open

On path independent stochastic choice


We investigate stochastic choice when only the average and not the entire distribution of choices is observable, focusing attention on the popular Luce model. Choice is path independent if it is recursive, in the sense that choosing from a menu can be broken up into choosing from smaller submenus. While an important property, path independence is known to be incompatible with continuous choice. The main result of our paper is that a natural modification of path independence, which we call partial path independence, is not only compatible with continuity, but ends up characterizing the ubiquitous Luce (or logit) rule.

Additional Information

© 2018 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. Manuscript received 30 September, 2016; final version accepted 5 May, 2017; available online 9 May, 2017. We want to thank the Editor and two anonymous referees for very helpful comments on an earlier draft. We are also grateful toMichihiko Kandori and Jay Lu for suggestions on some alternative interpretations of our results. Echenique thanks the National Science Foundation for its support through Grants SES 1558757 and CNS-1518941. Saito thanks the National Science Foundation for its support through Grant SES 1558757.

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August 21, 2023
August 21, 2023