Correlated risks, bivariate utility and optimal choices
AbstractIn this paper, we consider a décision-maker facing a financial risk flanked by a background risk, possibly non-financial, such as health or environmental risk. A decision has to be made about the amount of an investment (in the financial dimension) resulting in a future benefit either in the same dimension (savings) or in the order dimension (environmental quality or health improvement). In the first case, we show that the optimal amount of savings decreases as the pair of risks increases in the bivariate increasing concave dominance rules of higher degrees which express the common preferences of all the decision-makers whose two-argument utility function possesses direct and cross derivatives fulfilling some specific requirements. Roughly speaking, the optimal amount of savings decreases as the two risks become "less positively correlated" or marginally improve in univariate stochastic dominance. In the second case, a similar conclusion on optimal investment is reached under alternative conditions on the derivatives of the utility function.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2009007.
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2009
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bivariate higher order increasing concave stochastic dominance; precautionary savings; background risk; dependence;
Other versions of this item:
- Michel Denuit & Louis Eeckhoudt & Mario Menegatti, 2011. "Correlated risks, bivariate utility and optimal choices," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 39-54, January.
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
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