Prospect Theory as a Model of Risky Choice: Descriptive and Normative Assessments

October 16, 2017 – October 17, 2017 all-day America/New York Timezone
University College Cork

General Information

Prospect theory, as originally developed and subsequently refined by Kahneman and Tversky, is widely regarded as the most sophisticated theoretical achievement of behavioral economics. Its great importance, especially with respect to the concepts it introduced, is beyond serious dispute. However, like any major scientific model, it is vulnerable to being interpreted as dogma, as a statement of truth that can be used as an argument-stopper and as a basis for sweeping rejection of perspectives with which it is in tension. Empirical investigations of prospect theory, both in its original (1979) articulation and its ‘cumulative’ (1992) version that accommodates econometric identification and estimation, are equivocal in their results, certainly more interesting than straightforward ‘confirmation’ or ‘refutation’. Additionally, important questions about prospect theory’s completeness or adequacy as a descriptive theory of choice under risk and uncertainty spill over into problems of normative assessment, about welfare and well-being, raised by behavioral and experimental economics. At a time when more and more governments and companies are adopting policies and strategies based on their interpretations of results from behavioral economics, joint assessment of prospect theory’s descriptive and normative authority is directly relevant to management of institutional, political, environmental, and personal risk. In this workshop we will bring together economists and philosophers to critically review the empirical status of prospect theory, in both original and cumulative forms, along with the implications of this status for public, corporate and household policies.


Glenn Harrison (CEAR, Georgia State University), and Don Ross (University College Cork, University of Cape Town, and CEAR) are the organizers of this workshop. Funding is being provided by CEAR: see for more information. Standard travel and accommodation support for paper presenters will be provided. Should you have questions, please contact Professor Don Ross at about the substance of the workshop, and contact Mark Schneider with questions about participation and logistics.

Dates & Times

Monday, October 16, 2017 – 08:55 to 18:00. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.
Monday, October 16, 2017 – 20:00 – Dinner for invited guests.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 – 10:00 to 17:00. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Contact Mark Schneider at should you have any dietary restrictions or special needs.


The workshop will be held at University College Cork, Republic of Ireland: Presenters will be accommodated at Hayfield Manor Hotel,, Cork’s 5-star hotel that embodies the ambient charm and historical depth of Ireland’s special culture.

Cork is the Irish Republic’s second city, European headquarters of Apple and other major companies, and famous for traditional artisanal foods, Murphy’s and Beamish stout ales, and historic architecture.


Cork Airport is directly served from various airports in the United Kingdom, plus Amsterdam, Paris, Munich, and Reykjavik. Iceland’s WOW airline connects Cork to various North American destinations via Reykjavik. All major airline hubs abroad are connected to Dublin Airport, from which Cork is reached under 3 hours by overland shuttles.