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Standard Risk Aversion

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  • Kimball, Miles S

Abstract

This paper introduces the concept of standard risk aversion. A von Neumann-Morgenstern utility function has standard risk aversion if every risk that has a negative interaction with a small reduction in wealth also has a negative interaction with any undesirable, independent risk. It is shown that, given monotonicity and concavity, the combination of decreasing absolute risk aversion and decreasing absolute prudence is necessary and sufficient for standard risk aversion. Standard risk aversion is shown to imply not only Pratt and Zeckhauser's 'proper risk aversion' (an undesirable risk always remaining undesirable in the presence of an independent undesirable risk), but also that being forced to face an undesirable risk reduces the optimal investment in a risky security with an independent return. Copyright 1993 by The Econometric Society.

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  • Kimball, Miles S, 1993. "Standard Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 589-611, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:61:y:1993:i:3:p:589-611
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
    2. Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, 2006. "Log-concave probability and its applications," Studies in Economic Theory, in: Charalambos D. Aliprantis & Rosa L. Matzkin & Daniel L. McFadden & James C. Moore & Nicholas C. Yann (ed.), Rationality and Equilibrium, pages 217-241, Springer.
    3. 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.
    4. Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Precautionary Motives for Holding Assets," NBER Working Papers 3586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1986. "The equity premium and the concentration of aggregate shocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 211-219, September.
    6. Elmendorf, Douglas W & Kimball, Miles S, 2000. "Taxation of Labor Income and the Demand for Risky Assets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(3), pages 801-833, August.
    7. A. Sandmo, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(3), pages 353-360.
    8. Pratt, John W, 1990. "The Logic of Partial-Risk Aversion: Paradox Lost," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 105-113, June.
    9. Nachman, David C., 1982. "Preservation of "more risk averse" under expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 361-368, December.
    10. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1987. "Proper Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 143-154, January.
    11. Pratt, John W, 1988. "Aversion to One Risk in the Presence of Others," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 395-413, December.
    12. Machina, Mark J, 1982. ""Expected Utility" Analysis without the Independence Axiom," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 277-323, March.
    13. Hayne E. Leland, 1968. "Saving and Uncertainty: The Precautionary Demand for Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(3), pages 465-473.
    14. Dreze, Jacques H. & Modigliani, Franco, 1972. "Consumption decisions under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 308-335, December.
    15. Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "Some Stronger Measures of Risk Aversion in the Small and the Large with Applications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 621-638, May.
    16. Miles S. Kimball, 1990. "Precautionary Saving and the Marginal Propensity to Consume," NBER Working Papers 3403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
    18. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Romer, David & Williams, Steve, 1981. "Risk Aversion with Random Initial Wealth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 911-920, June.
    19. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1971. "Increasing risk II: Its economic consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 66-84, March.
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