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Optimal self-protection in two periods: On the role of endogenous saving

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  • Peter, Richard

Abstract

Self-protection is a costly investment to reduce the probability of loss. This paper studies optimal self-protection in a two-period model with endogenous saving. In a setting with a binary loss we show that prudence is negatively associated with the optimal level of self-protection, consistent with results obtained in single-period models. We provide intuition for this finding with the help of a recent approach based on stochastic dominance. Furthermore, we determine the effect of interest rate risk on optimal self-protection and study a model in which a decision-maker engages in advance effort to increase the probability of facing a better risky situation. All our results suggest that the understanding of advance self-protection crucially hinges on whether the decision-maker also uses saving to optimize intertemporal consumption utility. If so, the fact that self-protection expenditures are upfront turns out to be irrelevant.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter, Richard, 2017. "Optimal self-protection in two periods: On the role of endogenous saving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 19-36.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:19-36
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.01.017
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Downside risk; Prudence; Risk; Risk aversion; Saving; Self-protection;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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