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Putting Risk in its Proper Place

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Author Info

  • Louis Eeckhoudt
  • Harris Schlesinger

Abstract

This paper examines preferences towards particular classes of lottery pairs. We show how concepts such as prudence and temperance can be fully characterized by a preference relation over these lotteries. If preferences are defined in an expected-utility framework with differentiable utility, the direction of preference for a particular class of lottery pairs is equivalent to signing the nth derivative of the utility function. What makes our characterization appealing is its simplicity, which seems particularly amenable to experimentation.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2005/wp-cesifo-2005-05/cesifo1_wp1462.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1462.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1462

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Related research

Keywords: properness; prudence; risk apportionment; risk aversion; stochastic dominance; temperance; utility premium;

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References

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  1. Segal, Uzi & Spivak, Avia, 1990. "First order versus second order risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 111-125, June.
  2. Caballe, Jordi & Pomansky, Alexey, 1996. "Mixed Risk Aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 485-513, November.
  3. repec:fth:iniesr:444 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. 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.
  5. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
  6. Menezes, Carmen F. & Wang, X.Henry, 2005. "Increasing outer risk," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 875-886, November.
  7. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  8. Ekern, Steinar, 1980. "Increasing Nth degree risk," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 329-333.
  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. Nachman, David C., 1982. "Preservation of "more risk averse" under expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 361-368, December.
  11. Eeckhoudt, Louis & Gollier, Christian & Schlesinger, Harris, 1996. "Changes in Background Risk and Risk-Taking Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 683-89, May.
  12. Shorrocks, Anthony F & Foster, James E, 1987. "Transfer Sensitive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 485-97, July.
  13. Menezes, C & Geiss, C & Tressler, J, 1980. "Increasing Downside Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 921-32, December.
  14. Kimball, Miles S, 1993. "Standard Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 589-611, May.
  15. Patrick L. Brockett & Linda L. Golden, 1987. "A Class of Utility Functions Containing all the Common Utility Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(8), pages 955-964, August.
  16. Bigelow, John P & Menezes, Carmen F, 1995. "Outside Risk Aversion and the Comparative Statics of Increasing Risk in Quasi-linear Decision Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(3), pages 643-73, August.
  17. Lajeri-Chaherli, Fatma, 2004. "Proper prudence, standard prudence and precautionary vulnerability," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 29-34, January.
  18. EECKHOUDT, Louis & Christian GOLLIER & Thierry SCHNEIDER, 1994. "Risk Aversion, Prudence and Temperance : A Unified Approach," Working Papers 006, Risk and Insurance Archive.
  19. Christian Gollier, 2004. "The Economics of Risk and Time," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572249, December.
  20. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1987. "Proper Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 143-54, January.
  21. Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Precautionary Motives for Holding Assets," NBER Working Papers 3586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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