Decision Making under Uncertainty


gehalten von Prof. Dr. Eva Lütkebohmert-Holtz and Dr. Lorenz Hartmann



This seminar is on the theory of decision making under uncertainty. We cover both risk and non-calculable risk (ambiguity). We will discuss the most important models in decision theory such as expected utility theory, prospect theory, subjective expected utility theory and maxmin expected utility theory. We focus on the axiomatic foundations of these models as well as how these models can be applied and empirically tested. We discuss famous decision-theoretic “paradoxes” such as the St. Petersburg Paradox, the Ellsberg Paradox and the Allais Paradox. We discuss how these paradoxes can be resolved with the introduced models. Towards the end of the course we study how models on ambiguity can be applied to strategic interaction (games) and how this can explain empirically observed deviations from the Nash Equilibrium prediction.

Overall this seminar is theoretical, however a main focus will also be on examples and applications. Required knowledge is a solid understanding of the basic principles of Microeconomics. A more pronounced background in Economics and/or Mathematics is helpful but not required. The student should be interested and curious about how human decision making can be modelled and tested.

The following topics are the main building blocks of the seminar:


1.     What is Decision Theory? We discuss the concepts of states of the world, consequences, acts and preferences as well as the role of axioms in decision theory. We illustrate this by means of examples.

2.     Decision making under risk: expected utility theory, prospect theory, St. Petersburg Paradox, Allais Paradox.

3.     De Finetti's approach to decision making under uncertainty and its relationship to finance and no arbitrage arguments.

4.     “The crowning glory of choice theory”: Savage's famous subjective expected utility theory.

5.     Decision making under ambiguity: the Ellsberg Paradox, Choquet expected utility theory and Maxmin expected utility theory.

6.     Ambiguous games: explaining deviations from Nash equilibrium with ambiguity.



 Freitags 12-18 Uhr, R 1 Peterhof

10., 17., 24., 31. Januar und 07., 14. Februar 2020


Erster Termin

Mittwoch, 23. Oktober 2019, 16-18 Uhr, R 2 Peterhof




 Advanced Microeconomics I






Alle Studierende halten eine Präsentation und reichen ein Paper über das jeweils zugewiesene Thema ein.



Seminarmaterialien werden auf ILIAS zur Verfügung gestellt. Das für den Zugang zu den Seminarmaterialien benötigte ILIAS-Passwort wird in der ersten Seminarstunde bekanntgegeben!



Das Seminar kann von Studierenden im M. Sc. Economics,
M. Sc. Mathematik, M. Sc. VWL (
Spezialisierungsbereiche "Accounting, Finance and Taxation" und "Empirical Economics")  und Diplom Studierende im fortgeschrittenen Studienabschnitt (Wirtschaftstheorie) angerechnet werden.



This course is primarily intended for students in the second year of the master program. Pre-registration is required.


Interested students are asked to register via email to until October 13th, 2019.


Applications should indicate the

  • course of studies,
  • the number of terms,
  • and should include a recent transcript.


This seminar can be dropped without penalty until October 28th, 2019. Thereafter, withdrawal will count as a failed examination attempt!


Wakker, Peter P. Prospect theory: For risk and ambiguity. Cambridge university press, 2010.


Gilboa, Itzhak. Theory of decision under uncertainty. Vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge university press, 2009.


Goeree, Jacob K., and Charles A. Holt. "Ten little treasures of game theory and ten intuitive contradictions." American Economic Review %91.5 (2001): 1402-1422.


Eichberger, Jürgen, and David Kelsey. "Are the treasures of game theory ambiguous?." Economic Theory 48.2-3 (2011): 313-339.


Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge