Marciano's Picture Marciano Siniscalchi
Professor of Economics
3217 Kellogg Global Hub, Department of Economics
Northwestern University
Phone: (847) 491-5398
email: marciano AT northwestern DOT edu

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News (October 2022)

Final version: Structural Rationality in Dynamic Games.

Also, I will upload a revision of the paper on Self-Image Bias and Talent Loss shortly. My coauthor Pietro Veronesi and I are almost done with a thorough revision, with many new predictions that are verified in the data.


Published / Forthcoming / Accepted Papers

Structural Rationality in Dynamic games; Econometrica, vol. 90 n.5, September 2022.

Risk Sharing in the Small and in the Large, with Paolo Ghirardato; Journal of Economic Theory, vol. 175, May 2018. Online Appendix.

Lexicographic Beliefs and Assumption, with Eddie Dekel and Amanda Friedenberg; Journal of Economic Theory, vol. 163, May 2016. Working-paper version (updated).

Ambiguity in the small and in the large (former title: "A more robust definition of multiple priors"). Econometrica, vol. 80 n. 6, November 2012.
Supplemental appendix with an axiomatization of locally Lipschitz and "nice" preferences, plus additional results.
Previous version with additional material and extensive calculations for specific decision models.

Dynamic Choice under Ambiguity, Theoretical Economics, vol. 6 n.3, September 2011.

Two out of three ain't bad: a comment on 'The ambiguity aversion literature: A critical assessment', Economics and Philosophy, Vol. 25 n.3, 2009.

Vector Expected Utility and Attitudes toward Variation, Econometrica, Vol. 77 n. 3, May 2009. Supplementary material. Also see the additional material below (under Manuscripts).

Parental Guidance and Supervised Learning, with Alessandro Lizzeri. Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 123 n. 3, August 2008. The working-paper version has additional material, so we are keeping it available for download.

Interactive epistemology in games with payoff uncertainty, with Pierpaolo Battigalli. Research in Economics, vol. 61, 2007.

A Behavioral Characterization of Plausible Priors, Journal of Economic Theory vol. 128, 2006. See also the Online Appendix for additional results and omitted proofs.

Efficient Sorting in a Dynamic Adverse-Selection Model, with Igal Hendel and Alessandro Lizzeri. Review of Economic Studies vol. 72 n. 2, April 2005. See also the Web Appendix for additional results and omitted proofs.

A Subjective Spin on Roulette Wheels, with Paolo Ghirardato, Fabio Maccheroni and Massimo Marinacci; Econometrica , vol. 71 n. 6, November 2003.

Rationalization and Incomplete Information, with Pierpaolo Battigalli. Advances in Theoretical Economics, Vol. 3 No. 1, Article 3. BEPRess link:

Rationalizable Bidding in First-Price Auctions, with Pierpaolo Battigalli. Games and Economic Behavior, 45, October 2003, pp. 38-72.

Strong Belief and Forward-Induction Reasoning, with Pierpaolo Battigalli; Journal of Economic Theory (2002), 106 no. 2, pp. 356-391.

Hierarchies of Conditional Beliefs and Interactive Epistemology in Dynamic games, with Pierpaolo Battigalli. Journal of Economic Theory (1999), 88, 188-230. Additional material not in the published version.

Interactive Beliefs, Epistemic Independence and Strong Rationalizability, with Pierpaolo Battigalli. Research in Economics (1999) 53, 247-273.


Previous versions of the Structural Rationality paper: Structural Rationality in Dynamic games; October 2021. Structural Rationality in Dynamic Games, May 2018. Structural Rationality in Dynamic Games; May 2020. Online Appendix of the 2020 version.

Self-Image Bias and Lost Talent, with Pietro Veronesi; February 2021. Online Appendix
Abstract. We propose an overlapping-generations model in which established researchers evaluate the research of new researchers. All researchers are differentially endowed with equally desirable research characteristics and belong to two groups, M or F, which have identical ex-ante productivity distributions. Evaluations are group-blind. Yet, when research is evaluated on many characteristics, evaluators' self-image bias and mild between-group heterogeneity lead the initially larger group, say M, to dominate indefinitely. M-researchers only accept the research of young scholars with characteristics close to theirs. Promoted F-researchers are thus few and "similar" to M-researchers, perpetuating the asymmetry. This talent loss is exacerbated by candidates' career concerns and institutions' focus on hiring faculty whose research will be approved by established researchers. Mentorship reduces group imbalance, but it increases the F-group talent loss. Affirmative action reduces both. Our model's predictions are consistent with existing empirical evidence on female participation in academic economics.

Foundations for Structural Preferences; May 2020.
Abstract. The analysis of key game-theoretic concepts such as sequential rationality or backward- and forward-induction hinges on assumptions about players' actions and beliefs at information sets that are not actually reached during game play, and that players themselves do not expect to reach. However, it is not obvious how to elicit intended actions and conditional beliefs at such information sets. In Siniscalchi (2018), I address this concern by introducing a novel optimality criterion, \emph{structural rationality}, which implies sequential rationality but allows for the incentive-compatible elicitation of beliefs and intended actions. The present paper complements the analysis by providing an axiomatic foundation for structural preferences.

Note: not quite polished yet, but the main material and all results are there.

Recursive Vector Expected Utility; Preliminary version, May 2010. Comments welcome!
Abstract. This paper proposes and axiomatizes a recursive version of the vector expected utility (VEU) decision model (Siniscalchi, 2009). Recursive VEU preferences are dynamically consistent and ``consequentialist.'' Dynamic consistency implies standard Bayesian updating of the baseline (reference) prior in the VEU representation, but imposes no constraint on the adjustment functions and one-step-ahead adjustment factors. This delivers both tractability and flexibility. Recursive VEU preferences are also consistent with a dynamic, i.e. intertemporal extension of atemporal VEU preferences. Dynamic consistency is characterized by a time-separability property of adjustments---the VEU counterpart of Epstein and Schneider (2003)'s rectangularity for multiple priors. A simple exchangeability axiom ensures that the baseline prior admits a representation a la de Finetti, as an integral of i.i.d. product measures with respect to a unique probability µ. Jointly with dynamic consistency, the same axiom also implies that µ is updated via Bayes' Rule to provide an analogous representation of baseline posteriors. Finally, an application to a dynamic economy a la Lucas (1978) is sketched.

Additional Material for Vector Expected Utility...
December 2007 version; contains an alternative formulation and additional results.
Machina's Reflection Example and VEU Preferences: a Very Short Note. Shows that VEU preferences that are ambiguity-averse in the sense of Ghirardato and Marinacci (2002), but not in the sense of Schemidler (1989), can accommodate Machina's now-famous example.

Bayesian Updating for General Maxmin-Expected Utility Preferences, September 2001. The main result of this paper has been incorporated in Section 4 of ``Dynamic Choice under Ambiguity'', available above. So this paper is basically obsolete...

Contributed Papers

Epistemic Game Theory, January 2014; with Eddie Dekel. Forthcoming in the Handbook of Game Theory, vol. 4. See also Online appendix, with Eddie Dekel and Luciano Pomatto.

Ambiguity and Ambiguity Aversion, June 2013; with Mark Machina. In the Handbook of the Economics of Risk and Uncertianty, 2014.

Epistemic Game Theory: Beliefs and Types, March 2007. Marciano Siniscalchi, The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan, reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan.

Ambiguity and Ambiguity Aversion, March 2005. Marciano Siniscalchi, The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan, reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan.

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