Case-based decision theory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper suggests that decision-making under uncertainty is, at least partly, case-based. We propose a model in which cases are primitive, and provide a simple axiomatization of a decision rule that chooses a “best” act based on its past performance in similar cases. Each act is evaluated bythe sum of the utility levels that resulted from using this act in past cases, each weighted by the similarity of that past case to the problem at hand. The formal model of case-based decision theory naturally gives rise to the notions of satisficing decisions and aspiration levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-639
Number of pages35
JournalQuarterly Journal of Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1995


FundersFunder number
National Science Foundation


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