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A Good Sign for Multivariate Risk Taking

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Author Info

  • Louis Eeckhoudt

    ()
    (Facultés Universitaires Catholiques de Mons et Lille, Chaussée de Binche, 7000 Mons, Belgium and Center for Operations Research and Econometrics, Voie du Roman Pays 34, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • Béatrice Rey

    ()
    (Institut de Sciences Financières et d'Assurance, Université Lyon 1, 50 Avenue Tony Garnier, 69007 Lyon, France)

  • Harris Schlesinger

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Finance, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0224)

Abstract

Decisions under risk are often multidimensional, where the preferences of the decision maker depend on several attributes. For example, an individual might be concerned about both her level of wealth and the condition of her health. Many times the signs of successive cross-derivatives of a utility function play an important role in these models. However, there has not been a simple and intuitive interpretation for the meaning of such derivatives. The purpose of this paper is to give such an interpretation. In particular, we provide an equivalence between the signs of these cross-derivatives and individual preference within a particular class of simple lotteries.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1060.0606
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 53 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 117-124

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:53:y:2007:i:1:p:117-124

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Keywords: correlation aversion; multivariate risk; prudence; risk aversion; temperance;

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References

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  1. Larry G. Epstein & Stephen M. Tanny, 1980. "Increasing Generalized Correlation: A Definition and Some Economic Consequences," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 13(1), pages 16-34, February.
  2. Atkinson, Anthony B & Bourguignon, Francois, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201, April.
  3. Louis Eeckhoudt & Harris Schlesinger, 2005. "Putting Risk in its Proper Place," CESifo Working Paper Series 1462, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Kimball, Miles S, 1993. "Standard Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 589-611, May.
  5. Scott F. Richard, 1975. "Multivariate Risk Aversion, Utility Independence and Separable Utility Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(1), pages 12-21, September.
  6. Viscusi, W Kip & Evans, William N, 1990. "Utility Functions That Depend on Health Status: Estimates and Economic Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 353-74, June.
  7. Dardanoni, Valentino & Wagstaff, Adam, 1990. "Uncertainty and the demand for medical care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 23-38, June.
  8. Sandmo, Agnar, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 353-60, July.
  9. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
  10. Tressler, J. H. & Menezes, C. F., 1980. "Labor supply and wage rate uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 425-436, December.
  11. Robert Eisner & Robert H. Strotz, 1961. "Flight Insurance and the Theory of Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 355.
  12. Wagstaff, Adam & Paci, Pierella & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1991. "On the measurement of inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 545-557, January.
  13. Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Precautionary Motives for Holding Assets," NBER Working Papers 3586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Dardanoni, Valentino, 1988. "Optimal Choices under Uncertainty: The Case of Two-Argument Utility Functions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 429-50, June.
  15. DREZE, Jacques H. & MODIGLIANI, Franco, . "Cosumption decisions under uncertainty," CORE Discussion Papers RP -119, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  16. Evans, William N & Viscusi, W Kip, 1991. "Estimation of State-Dependent Utility Functions Using Survey Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 94-104, February.
  17. Eaton, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S., 1980. "Labor supply, uncertainty, and efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 365-374, December.
  18. Moyes, Patrick, 2012. "Comparisons of heterogeneous distributions and dominance criteria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1351-1383.
  19. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  20. Bleichrodt, Han & Crainich, David & Eeckhoudt, Louis, 2003. "The effect of comorbidities on treatment decisions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 805-820, September.
  21. Béatrice Rey & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2004. "Health and Wealth: How do They Affect Individual Preferences?," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance Theory, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 43-54, 06.
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