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The Expected Utility of the Doubling Strategy


  • Omberg, Edward


It has been noted that a certain continuous-time trading strategy, termed the "doubling strategy," generates a positive net return on borrowed funds, with probability one and within a finite period of time. Since the doubling strategy seems to represent a "free lunch" or arbitrage opportunity, a variety of constraints to render it infeasible have been proposed. In this paper, the author shows that the doubling strategy generates infinite disutility for a large class of utility functions, and he can think of no utility function for a risk-averse agent that is a counter-example. Copyright 1989 by American Finance Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Omberg, Edward, 1989. " The Expected Utility of the Doubling Strategy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(2), pages 515-524, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:44:y:1989:i:2:p:515-24

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Grossman, Sanford J & Miller, Merton H, 1988. " Liquidity and Market Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 617-637, July.
    2. Stein, Jeremy C, 1987. "Informational Externalities and Welfare-Reducing Speculation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1123-1145, December.
    3. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-738, August.
    4. Glosten, Lawrence R. & Milgrom, Paul R., 1985. "Bid, ask and transaction prices in a specialist market with heterogeneously informed traders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 71-100, March.
    5. Roll, Richard, 1984. "Orange Juice and Weather," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 861-880, December.
    6. Shiller, Robert J, 1981. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 421-436, June.
    7. Mankiw, N Gregory & Miron, Jeffrey A & Weil, David N, 1987. "The Adjustment of Expectations to a Change in Regime: A Study of the Founding of the Federal Reserve," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 358-374, June.
    8. John Y. Campbell & Albert S. Kyle, 1993. "Smart Money, Noise Trading and Stock Price Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 1-34.
    9. Robert J. Barro, 1988. "Interest-Rate Smoothing," NBER Working Papers 2581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Albert M. Wojnilower, 1980. "The Central Role of Credit Crunches in Recent Financial History," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 11(2), pages 277-340.
    11. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-1335, November.
    12. LeRoy, Stephen F & Porter, Richard D, 1981. "The Present-Value Relation: Tests Based on Implied Variance Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 555-574, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Athanasoulis, Stefano G., 2005. "Asset pricing from primitives: closed form solutions to asset prices, consumption, and portfolio demands," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 423-447, March.
    2. Munk, Claus, 2015. "Financial Asset Pricing Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198716457, June.
    3. Stefano G. Athanasoulis & Robert J. Shiller, 2001. "World Income Components: Measuring and Exploiting Risk-Sharing Opportunities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1031-1054, September.
    4. Lim, Terence & Lo, Andrew W. & Merton, Robert C. & Scholes, Myron S., 2006. "The Derivatives Sourcebook," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 1(5–6), pages 365-572, April.

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