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An economic index of riskiness

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Author Info

  • Robert J. Aumann

    ()
    (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

  • Roberto Serrano

    ()
    (Brown University and IMDEA Social Sciences)

Abstract

Define the riskiness of a gamble as the reciprocal of the absolute risk aversion (ARA) of an individual with constant ARA who is indifferent between taking and not taking that gamble. We characterize this index by axioms, chief among them a \"duality\" axiom which, roughly speaking, asserts that less risk-averse individuals accept riskier gambles. The index is homogeneous of degree 1, monotonic with respect to first and second order stochastic dominance, and for gambles with normal distributions, is half of variance/mean. Examples are calculated, additional properties derived, and the index is compared with others in the literature.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales in its series Working Papers with number 2007-08.

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Date of creation: 28 Feb 2007
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Political Economy 116(5), October 2008: 810-836
Handle: RePEc:imd:wpaper:wp2007-08

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Keywords: riskiness; risk aversion; expected utility; decision making;

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  1. Tobin, James, 1969. "Comment on Borch and Feldstein," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(105), pages 13-14, January.
  2. Aumann, Robert J & Kurz, Mordecai, 1977. "Power and Taxes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(5), pages 1137-61, July.
  3. Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio & Serrano, Roberto, 2006. "Rejecting small gambles under expected utility," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 250-259, May.
  4. Peter C. Fishburn, 1984. "Foundations of Risk Measurement. I. Risk As Probable Loss," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(4), pages 396-406, April.
  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. Hadar, Josef & Russell, William R, 1969. "Rules for Ordering Uncertain Prospects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 25-34, March.
  7. Philippe Artzner & Freddy Delbaen & Jean-Marc Eber & David Heath, 1999. "Coherent Measures of Risk," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 203-228.
  8. Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Risk Aversion and Expected Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7667, David K. Levine.
  9. Fishburn, Peter C, 1977. "Mean-Risk Analysis with Risk Associated with Below-Target Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 116-26, March.
  10. Levy, Haim & Hanoch, Giora, 1970. "Relative Effectiveness of Efficiency Criteria for Portfolio Selection," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 63-76, March.
  11. 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.
  12. Hanoch, G & Levy, Haim, 1969. "The Efficiency Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(107), pages 335-46, July.
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