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Stochastic Dominance and Absolute Risk Aversion

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  • Jordi Caballe

    ()

  • Joan Esteban

Abstract

In this paper we propose the infimum of the Arrow-Pratt index of absolute risk aversion as a measure of global risk aversion of a utility function. We show that, for any given arbitrary pair of distributions, there exists a threshold level of global risk aversion such that all increasing concave utility functions with at least as much global risk aversion would rank the two distributions in the same way. Furthermore, this threshold level is sharp in the sense that, for any lower level of global risk aversion, we can find two utility functions in this class yielding opposite preference relations for the two distributions.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 28 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 89-110

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:28:y:2007:i:1:p:89-110

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  1. Diamond, Peter A. & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1974. "Increases in risk and in risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 337-360, July.
  2. Alain Chateauneuf & Michèle Cohen & Isaac Meilijson, 2005. "More pessimism than greediness: a characterization of monotone risk aversion in the Rank-Dependent Expected Utility model," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00211906, HAL.
  3. Caballe, Jordi & Pomansky, Alexey, 1996. "Mixed Risk Aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 485-513, November.
  4. Kimball, Miles S, 1993. "Standard Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 589-611, May.
  5. Gollier, C. & Kimball, M.S., 1996. "New Methods in the Classical Economics of Uncertainty: Comparing Risks," Papers 96.412, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  6. Lambert, Peter J. & Hey, John D., 1979. "Attitudes to risk," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 215-218.
  7. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
  8. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1987. "Proper Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 143-54, January.
  9. Meyer, Jack, 1975. "Increasing risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 119-132, August.
  10. Meyer, Jack, 1977. "Second Degree Stochastic Dominance with Respect to a Function," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 477-87, June.
  11. Gollier, Christian & Pratt, John W, 1996. "Risk Vulnerability and the Tempering Effect of Background Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1109-23, September.
  12. Hadar, Josef & Russell, William R, 1969. "Rules for Ordering Uncertain Prospects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 25-34, March.
  13. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
  14. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Eisenhauer, Joseph G., 2006. "Risk aversion and prudence in the large," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 179-187, December.
  2. Eisenhauer, Joseph G., 2010. "Rank-ordering of risk preferences with conventional and discrete measures," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 291-297, August.

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