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Boris Johnson has sowed dangerous ambiguity over Covid rules with mixed messaging for Freedom Day

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14.07.2021

Sixty years ago, Daniel Ellsberg, as a graduate student at Harvard, wrote a now-seminal paper on behavioural economics. The conclusions of “Risk, ambiguity and the Savage axioms” pose a fundamental challenge to the conventional economic model of rational choice, as well as the Government’s current Covid strategy.

Despite its seemingly esoteric nature, an experiment carried out by Ellsberg has important practical implications.

He presented people with an urn containing 50 black and 50 red balls, offering them first a bet to win if a red ball appeared and then a bet to win if a black was drawn. Unsurprisingly, the participants were indifferent between the two bets.

The next urn contained 100 balls with an unknown mix of red and black balls. The participants were offered the same bets, and many shrank away from taking the........

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