Marvels and Misconceptions of Insurance Production

AbstractHow does insurance work? What is the relative advantage of the insurance firm in bearing risks? In the literature of business, mathematics and economics these questions are answered by ‘risk pooling'and the law of large numbers (LLN). The popular argument is: by selling many contracts LLN helps predicting fairly accurately the loss. Because the risk of insolvency is real and troubling, enhanced confidence in its underwriting results affords the competing larger firm an advantage that ought to be reflected in lower prices.

AGREEING TO DISAGREE: THE NON-PROBABILISTIC CASE

Abstract: A non-probabilistic generalization of Aumann's (1976) agreement theorem is proved. Early attempts at such a theorem were based on a version of the sure-thing principle which assumes an intrapersonal-interstate comparison of knowledge. But such comparisons are impossible in partition structures.

Optimal Use of Communication Resources with Partial Monitoring

Abstract:Communication enables players to exchange information and thus bridge the optimality gap resulting from asymmetric information.

QUALITY OF LIFE: A SYSTEMIC DEFINITION, PARTIAL-ORDER MEASUREMENT, AND DATA ANALYTIC STRUCTURES

Abstract. The concept of happiness, not unlike happiness itself, is evasive. Renaming it human well-being or human quality of life (QOL) has been of little help. Yet, it is a key concept in evaluating the actual utility of actions taken in personal life as well as in national life.A top-down systemic theory is presented, yielding a structured generic set of QOL components that, under simple assumptions, are argued to be exclusive and exhaustive.

LEAST SQUARES, CALIBRATION (JOINT WORK WITH SHAM KAKADE)

Abstract: The problem of on-line prediction is try to predict an arbitrary sequence of numbers about as well as can be done if you had seen all the data ahead of time. Of course, to make this a "fair" problem, we will have to restrict the possible after-the-fact forecasts. This talk will use the easiest possible loss function--namely least squares. I will focus on some new spin-offs of this theory. In particular, it is easy to show that a weakly calibrated forecast exists.

SHOULDN'T WE SEEK THE PEOPLE'S CONSENT? ON THE NEXUS BETWEEN THE PROCEDURES OF ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT OF ISRAEL’S CONSTITUTION

Abstract: Israel's Supreme Court recognized the existence of a formal Israeli Constitution in the form of Basic Laws in 1995 in the Hamizrachi Bank Decision. This decision, viewed as the climax of Israel's constitutional revolution, has provoked harsh criticism. Nonetheless, many support finalizing this constitutional revolution by the enactment of Basic Law: Legislation. This Basic Law would decide the constitutional status of all Basic Laws, as well as the process for constitutional amendment. The most prevalent current proposal for this Basic Law is that of the Ne'eman Commission.

Distributed Computing Meets Game Theory: upper and lower bounds for mediator implementation with cheap talk (Joint work with Danny Dolev, Rica Gonen and Joe Halpern)

Abstract: A mediator can help non-cooperative agents obtain an equilibrium that may otherwise not be possible. We give matching upper and lower bounds on the ability of rational agents to obtain the same equilibrium without a mediator, simply by engaging in non-binding pre-play communication, known as ``cheap talk''. Our upper bounds are based on k-resilient Nash equilibria for the secret sharing game, joint strategies where no member of a coalition of size up to k can do better, even if the whole coalition defects.

PARTIALLY-SPECIFIED PROBABILITIES: DECISIONS AND GAMES

Abstract: In the Ellsberg paradox decision makers who are only partially informed about the actualprobability distribution violate the expected utility paradigm. The paper takes an axiomatic approach using Anscombe-Aumann's setting, and introduces a theory of decision making with a partially specified probabilities.       Partially-specified decision making is then extended to games in order to introduce partially-specified equilibrium and partially-specified correlated equilibrium.

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