n South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences - Ending the myth of the St Petersburg Paradox
|Article Title||Ending the myth of the St Petersburg Paradox|
|© Publisher:||University of Pretoria|
|Journal||South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences|
|Affiliations||1 University of the Witwatersrand|
|Publication Date||Jan 2013|
|Pages||347 - 364|
|Keyword(s)||B3, C44, C9, Central Limit Theorem, D81, Deductive logic, Economic paradoxes, Inductive logic, Law of Large Numbers, N00, Simulation of games, St Petersburg game and St Petersburg Paradox|
ISI Social Science
Nicolas Bernoulli suggested the St Petersburg game, nearly 300 years ago, which is widely believed to produce a paradox in decision theory. This belief stems from a long standing mathematical error in the original calculation of the expected value of the game. This article argues that, in addition to the mathematical error, there are also methodological considerations which gave rise to the paradox. This article explains these considerations and why because of the modern computer, the same considerations, when correctly applied, also demonstrate that no paradox exists. Because of the longstanding belief that a paradox exists it is unlikely the mere mathematical correction will end the myth. The article explains why it is the methodological correction which will dispel the myth.
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