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The values of relative risk aversion and prudence: A context-free interpretation

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  • Eeckhoudt, Louis
  • Etner, Johanna
  • Schroyen, Fred

Abstract

In this paper we apply to multiplicative lotteries the idea of preference for "harm disaggregation" that was used for additive lotteries in order to interpret the signs of successive derivatives of a utility function. In this way, we can explain in general terms why the values of the coefficients of relative risk aversion and relative prudence are usually compared respectively to 1 and 2. We also show how these values partition the sets of risk averse and/or prudent decision makers into two subgroups.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Mathematical Social Sciences.

Volume (Year): 58 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 1-7

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Handle: RePEc:eee:matsoc:v:58:y:2009:i:1:p:1-7

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505565

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Keywords: Relative risk aversion Relative prudence;

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References

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  1. EECKHOUDT, Louis & SCHLESINGER, Harris, . "Putting risk in its proper place," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1871, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Peter C. Fishburn & R. Burr Porter, 1976. "Optimal Portfolios with One Safe and One Risky Asset: Effects of Changes in Rate of Return and Risk," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(10), pages 1064-1073, June.
  4. Franke, Günter & Schlesinger, Harris & Stapleton, Richard C., 2002. "Multiplicative background risk," Discussion Papers, various Research Units FS IV 02-06, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  5. Cheng, Hsueh-Cheng & Magill, Michael J P & Shafer, Wayne J, 1987. "Some Results on Comparative Statics under Uncertainty," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(2), pages 493-507, June.
  6. Mitchell, Douglas W, 1994. "Relative Risk Aversion with Arrow-Debreu Securities," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(1), pages 257-58, February.
  7. Donald Meyer & Jack Meyer, 2005. "Relative Risk Aversion: What Do We Know?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 243-262, December.
  8. Choi, E. Kwan & Menezes, Carmen F., 1985. "On the Magnitude of Relative Risk Aversion," Staff General Research Papers 10604, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  9. Hahn, F H, 1970. "Savings and Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 21-24, January.
  10. Choi, Gyemyung & Kim, Iltae & Snow, Arthur, 2001. "Comparative Statics Predictions for Changes in Uncertainty in the Portfolio and Savings Problems," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 61-72, January.
  11. White, Lucy, 2008. "Prudence in bargaining: The effect of uncertainty on bargaining outcomes," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 211-231, January.
  12. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1971. "Increasing risk II: Its economic consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 66-84, March.
  13. Hadar, Josef & Seo, Tae Kun, 1990. "The Effects of Shifts in a Return Distribution on Optimal Portfolios," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(3), pages 721-36, August.
  14. Chiu, W.Henry & Madden, Paul, 2007. "Crime, punishment, and background risks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 543-555, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Michel Denuit & Béatrice Rey, 2014. "Benchmark values for higher order coefficients of relative risk aversion," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 76(1), pages 81-94, January.
  2. Courbage, Christophe & Rey, Béatrice, 2012. "Priority setting in health care and higher order degree change in risk," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 484-489.
  3. Charles N. Noussair & Stefan T. Trautmann & Gijs van de Kuilen, 2014. "Higher Order Risk Attitudes, Demographics, and Financial Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 325-355.
  4. Octave Jokung, 2013. "Changes in multiplicative background risk and risk-taking behavior," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 127-149, January.
  5. Fred Schroyen & Adekola Oyenuga, 2011. "Optimal pricing and capacity choice for a public service under risk of interruption," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 252-272, June.
  6. W. Chiu & Louis Eeckhoudt & Beatrice Rey, 2012. "On relative and partial risk attitudes: theory and implications," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 151-167, May.
  7. Jingyuan Li, 2012. "Precautionary saving in the presence of labor income and interest rate risks," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 106(3), pages 251-266, July.
  8. Wang, Jianli & Li, Jingyuan, 2010. "Multiplicative risk apportionment," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 79-81, July.
  9. Eichner, Thomas & Wagener, Andreas, 2011. "Increases in skewness and three-moment preferences," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 109-113, March.
  10. Jokung, Octave, 2013. "Monotonicity of asset price toward higher changes in risk," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 195-198.
  11. Denuit, Michel & Rey, Béatrice, 2013. "Another look at risk apportionment," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 335-343.

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