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Collective risk aversion

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  • Jouini, Elyès
  • Napp, Clotilde
  • Nocetti, Diego

Abstract

In this paper we analyse the risk attitude of a group of heterogenous agents and we develop a theory of comparative collective risk tolerance. In particular, we characterize how shifts in the distribution of individual levels of risk tolerance affect the representative agent's degree of risk tolerance. In the model with efficient risk – sharing and two agents (e.g. a household) with isoelastic preferences we show that an increase of the level of risk tolerance of one of the agents might have an ambiguous impact on the aggregate level of risk tolerance; the latter increases for some levels of aggregate wealth while it decreases for other levels of aggregate wealth. Specifically, there are two possible shapes for aggregate risk tolerance as a function of the risk tolerance level of one of the agents: increasing curve or increasing then decreasing curve. For more general populations we characterize the effect of first order like shifts (individual levels of risk tolerance more concentrated on high values) and second order like shifts (more dispersion on individual levels of risk tolerance) on the collective level of risk tolerance. We also evaluate how shifts in the distribution of individual levels of risk tolerance impact the collective level of risk tolerance in a framework with exogenous egalitarian sharing rules. Our results permit to better characterize differences in risk taking behavior between groups and individuals and among groups with different distribution of risk preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/5673.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Publication status: Published in Social Choice and Welfare, 2013, Vol. 40, no. 2. pp. 411-437.Length: 26 pages
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/5673

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Keywords: collective risk; heterogenous agents; risk tolerance; isoelastic preferences; aggregate wealth; risk preferences;

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  1. Bone, John & Hey, John & Suckling, John, 1999. "Are Groups More (or Less) Consistent Than Individuals?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 63-81, April.
  2. Jouini, E. & Napp, C., 2008. "On Abel's concept of doubt and pessimism," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3682-3694, November.
  3. Gary Charness & Edi Karni & Dan Levin, 2007. "Individual and group decision making under risk: An experimental study of Bayesian updating and violations of first-order stochastic dominance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 129-148, October.
  4. Kfir Eliaz & Debraj Ray & Ronny Razin, 2006. "Choice Shifts in Groups: A Decision-Theoretic Basis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1321-1332, September.
  5. Hara, C. & Christoph Kuzmics, 2004. "Representative Consumer's Risk Aversion and Efficient Risk-Sharing Rules," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0452, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  6. Gollier, C., 1997. "Wealth Inequality and Asset Pricing," Papers 97.486, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  7. Landsberger, Michael & Meilijson, Isaac, 1990. "Demand for risky financial assets: A portfolio analysis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 204-213, February.
  8. Christian Gollier, 2007. "Whom should we believe? Aggregation of heterogeneous beliefs," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 107-127, October.
  9. Masclet, David & Colombier, Nathalie & Denant-Boemont, Laurent & Lohéac, Youenn, 2009. "Group and individual risk preferences: A lottery-choice experiment with self-employed and salaried workers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 470-484, June.
  10. Barsky, Robert B, et al, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-79, May.
  11. Gollier, Christian, 1997. "A Note on Portfolio Dominance," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(1), pages 147-50, January.
  12. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1989. " The Impact of Risk Sharing on Efficient Decision," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 219-34, September.
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