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Risk Aversion and Expected Utility of Consumption over Time

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  • Johansson-Stenman, Olof

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

The calibration theorem by Rabin (2000) implies that seemingly plausible smallstake choices under risk imply implausible large-stake risk aversion. This theorem is derived based on the expected utility of wealth model. However, Cox and Sadiraj (2006) show that such implications do not follow from the expected utility of income model. One may then wonder about the implications for more applied consumption analysis. The present paper therefore expresses utility as a function of consumption in a standard life cycle model, and illustrates the implications of this model with experimental small- and intermediate-stake risk data from Holt and Laury (2002). The results suggest implausible risk aversion parameters as well as unreasonable implications for long term risky choices. Thus, the conventional intertemporal consumption model under risk appears to be inconsistent with the data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 351.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 06 Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0351

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Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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Keywords: Expected utility of income; expected utility of final wealth; dynamic consumption theory; asset integration; time inconsistency; narrow bracketing;

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References

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  1. Attanasio, O.P. & Browning, M., 1993. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle and Over the Business Cycle," Papers 9314, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  2. Francisco Gomes & Alexander Michaelides, 2005. "Optimal Life-Cycle Asset Allocation: Understanding the Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 869-904, 04.
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  7. Matthew Rabin., 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Economics Working Papers E00-279, University of California at Berkeley.
  8. Blundell, Richard & Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1994. "Consumer Demand and the Life-Cycle Allocation of Household Expenditures," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 57-80, January.
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  17. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2009. "Risk Aversion and Expected Utility of Consumption over Time," Working Papers in Economics 351, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  18. Laura Schechter, 2007. "Risk aversion and expected-utility theory: A calibration exercise," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 67-76, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fafchamps, Marcel & Kebede, Bereket & Zizzo, Daniel John, 2013. "Keep Up With the Winners: Experimental Evidence on Risk Taking, Asset Integration, and Peer Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 9714, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2009. "Risk Aversion and Expected Utility of Consumption over Time," Working Papers in Economics 351, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. Johansson Stenman, Olof & Nordblom, Katarina, 2010. "Are Men Really More Overconfident than Women? - A Natural Field Experiment on Exam Behavior," Working Papers in Economics 461, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  4. Treffers, T. & Koellinger, Ph.D. & Picot, A.O., 2012. "In the Mood for Risk? A Random-Assignment Experiment Addressing the Effects of Moods on Risk Preferences," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2012-014-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
  5. Kerri Brick & Martine Visser & Justine Burns, 2011. "Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence from South African Fishing Communities," Working Papers 227, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  6. Andersson, Fredrik W., 2011. "The lambda model and "rule of thumb" consumers: An estimation problem in existing studies," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 381-384, August.

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