What are axiomatizations good for?

Itzhak Gilboa, Andrew Postlewaite, Larry Samuelson*, David Schmeidler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Do axiomatic derivations advance positive economics? If economists are interested in predicting how people behave, without a pretense to change individual decision making, how can they benefit from representation theorems, which are no more than equivalence results? We address these questions. We propose several ways in which representation results can be useful and discuss their implications for axiomatic decision theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-359
Number of pages21
JournalTheory and Decision
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1 May 2019


  • Axiomatization
  • Axioms
  • Decision theory
  • Representation theorem


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