A hard choice is a situation in which an agent is unable to make a justifiable choice from a given menu of alternatives. Our objective is to present a systematic treatment of the axiomatic structure of such situations. To do so, we draw on and contribute to the study of choice functions that can be indecisive, i.e., that may fail to select a non-empty set for some menus. In this more general framework, we present new characterizations of two well-known choice rules, the maximally dominant choice rule and the top-cycle choice rule. Together with existing results, this yields an understanding of the circumstances in which hard choices arise.
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- Hard choice
- Indecisive choice function
- Maximally dominant choice
- Top-cycle choice