A million answers to twenty questions: Choosing by checklist

Michael Mandler, Paola Manzini, Marco Mariotti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Several decision models in marketing science and psychology assume that a consumer chooses by proceeding sequentially through a checklist of desirable properties. These models are contrasted to the utility maximization model of rationality in economics. We show on the contrary that the two approaches are nearly equivalent. Since the number of preference discriminations that an agent can make increases exponentially in the number of properties used, checklists provide a rapid procedural basis for utility maximization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-92
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Economic Theory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Structured keywords

  • ECON Microeconomic Theory


  • Bounded rationality
  • Choice function
  • Lexicographic utility
  • Utility maximization


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