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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Understanding preference imprecision

Bayrak, Oben K.; Hey, John D.


The term 'preference imprecision' seems to have different meanings to different people. In the literature, one can find references to a number of expressions. For example: vagueness, incompleteness, randomness, unsureness, indecisiveness and thick indifference curves. Some of these are theoretical constructs, some are empirical. The purpose of this paper is to survey the various different approaches and to try to link them together: to see if they are all addressed to the same issue, and to come to some conclusions. In the course of this survey, we report on evidence concerning the existence of preference imprecision, and its impact on theoretical and empirical work.


Anomalies; Interval valuations; Incomplete preferences; Preference imprecision; Stochastic models; Strength of preference

Published in

Journal of Economic Surveys
2020, volume: 34, number: 1, pages: 154-174
Publisher: WILEY

Authors' information

Bayrak, Oben
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Economics
Hey, John D.
University of York - UK

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