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Multiplicative background risk

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  • Franke, Günter
  • Schlesinger, Harris
  • Stapleton, Richard C.

Abstract

We consider random wealth of the multiplicative form xy, where x and y are statistically independent random variables. We assume that x is endogenous to the economic agent, but that y is an exogenous and uninsurable background risk. Our main focus is on how the randomness of y affects risk-taking behavior for decisions on the choice of x. We characterize conditions on preferences that lead to more cautious behavior. We also develop the concept of the affiliated utility function, which we define as the composition of the underlying utility function and the exponential function. This allows us to adapt several results for additive background risk to the multiplicative case. -- Wir betrachten den zufälligen Reichtum der multiplikativen Form xy, wo x und y statistisch unabhängige Zufallsvariablen sind. Wir nehmen an, daß x endogen für den ökonomischen Agenten ist, aber daß y ein exogenes und nicht versicherbares Hintergrundrisiko ist. Unser Hauptaugenmerk liegt darauf, wie die Zufälligkeit von y das Risikoverhalten bei Entscheidungen für x beeinflußt. Wir charakterisieren die Bedingungen der Präferenzen, die zu einem vorsichtigeren Verhalten führen. Wir entwickeln auch ein Konzept der „affiliated“ Nutzenfunktion, die eine Zusammensetzung der ursprünglichen Nutzenfunktion und der Exponentialfunktion ist. Dies erlaubt es uns, mehrere Ergebnisse für additive Hintergrundrisiken auf den multiplikativen Fall anzupassen.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, various Research Units with number FS IV 02-06.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbdiv:fsiv0206

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Keywords: background risk; standard risk aversion; affiliated utility function;

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  1. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1996. "Income Risk, Borrowing Constraints, and Portfolio Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 158-72, March.
  2. Jackwerth, Jens Carsten, 2000. "Recovering Risk Aversion from Option Prices and Realized Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(2), pages 433-51.
  3. Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Standard Risk Aversion," NBER Technical Working Papers 0099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Nachman, David C., 1982. "Preservation of "more risk averse" under expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 361-368, December.
  5. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Romer, David & Williams, Steve, 1981. "Risk Aversion with Random Initial Wealth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 911-20, June.
  6. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
  7. Yacine Ait-Sahalia & Andrew W. Lo, 2000. "Nonparametric Risk Management and Implied Risk Aversion," NBER Working Papers 6130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Christian Gollier, 2004. "The Economics of Risk and Time," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572249, December.
  9. Masao Ogaki & Qiang Zhang, 2000. "Decreasing Relative Risk Aversion and Tests of Risk Sharing," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1588, Econometric Society.
  10. Doherty, Neil A & Schlesinger, Harris, 1983. "Optimal Insurance in Incomplete Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 1045-54, December.
  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. 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.
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