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STICERD Economic Theory Seminars

Dynamic Concern for Misspecification

Giacomo Lanzani (Berkeley)

Thursday 14 March 2024 15:30 - 17:00

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.


About this event

We consider an agent who posits a set of probabilistic models for the payoff-relevant outcomes. The agent has a prior over this set but fears the actual model is omitted and hedges against this possibility. The concern for misspecification is endogenous: If a model explains the previous observations well, the concern attenuates. We show that different static preferences under uncertainty (subjective expected utility, maxmin, robust control) arise in the long run, depending on how quickly the agent becomes unsatisfied with unexplained evidence and whether they are misspecified. The misspecification concern's endogeneity naturally induces behavior cycles, and we characterize the limit action frequency. This model is consistent with the empirical evidence on monetary policy cycles and choices in the face of complex tax schedules. Finally, we axiomatize in terms of observable choices this decision criterion and how quickly the agent adjusts their misspecification concern.

Economic Theory Seminars are held on Thursdays in term time at 15:30-17:00, both ONLINE and IN PERSON in SAL 3.05.

Seminar organisers: Dr Andrew Ellis and Dr Christopher Sandmann.

For further information please contact Sadia Ali: s.ali43@lse.ac.uk.

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