© 1998

Dynamic Preferences, Choice Mechanisms, and Welfare


  • The book conveys a fundamental understanding of intertemporal decision making.

  • It is thus useful for researchers and teachers alike.


Part of the Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems book series (LNE, volume 462)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Introduction

    1. Ludwig von Auer
      Pages 1-3
  3. A Survey of Intertemporal Choice under Certainty

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 5-5
    2. Ludwig von Auer
      Pages 7-23
    3. Ludwig von Auer
      Pages 25-45
    4. Ludwig von Auer
      Pages 47-68
    5. Ludwig von Auer
      Pages 69-82
    6. Ludwig von Auer
      Pages 83-98
  4. Preferences, Choice, and Welfare in Universal Utility Models

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 99-99
    2. Ludwig von Auer
      Pages 131-141
    3. Ludwig von Auer
      Pages 143-150
    4. Ludwig von Auer
      Pages 165-191
    5. Ludwig von Auer
      Pages 193-194
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 195-228

About this book


For most economic aspects of human behaviour, static deci­ sion models provide an insufficient description. More specifically, they ignore the fact that preferences may change over time and that at each point of time current preferences depend on aspects which are associated with the past or the future. The neglect of these phenomena may lead to results which have little in com­ mon with real life. Dynamic decision models were developed in order to cope with these complications. Spurred by the availability of new mathematical tools such as optimal control theory and dynamic programming, dynamic utility models mushroomed over the last two decades. Various frameworks were developed featuring dif­ ferent restrictions on the way agents form preferences in an in­ tertemporal environment. Unfortunately, no systematic reappraisal of this literature ex­ ists. The survey provided in part I of this thesis attempts to fill in this gap. It introduces a comprehensive classification sys­ tem which allows for a coherent organization of all studies of intertemporal choice under certainty and complete information. 2 1. Introduction The latter implies that the individual knows in advance all fu­ ture preferences and choice possibilities. In this survey we show that all dynamic utility models can be viewed as special cases of the class of universal utility mod­ els. It is therefore desirable to investigate intertemporal decision making in terms of this least restrictive framework. Accordingly, all findings of part II of this thesis are derived for the class of universal utility models.


Dynamisches Wahlverhalten Entscheidungstheorie Intertemporaler Nutzen Nutzentheorie decision making decision theory dynamic choice intertemporal utility rational decision making rationales Entscheidungsverhalten utility theory welfare

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Fakultät für Wirtschaftswissenschaften Volkswirtschaftslehre IV Internationale WirtschaftUniversity of MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany

Bibliographic information

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