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Increases in risk aversion and the distribution of portfolio payoffs

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  • Dybvig, Philip H.
  • Wang, Yajun

Abstract

Oliver Hart proved the impossibility of deriving general comparative static properties in portfolio weights. Instead, we derive new comparative statics for the distribution of payoffs: A is less risk averse than B iff Aʼs payoff is always distributed as Bʼs payoff plus a non-negative random variable plus conditional-mean-zero noise. If either agent has nonincreasing absolute risk aversion, the non-negative part can be chosen to be constant. The main result also holds in some incomplete markets with two assets or two-fund separation, and in multiple periods for a mixture of payoff distributions over time (but not at every point in time).

Suggested Citation

  • Dybvig, Philip H. & Wang, Yajun, 2012. "Increases in risk aversion and the distribution of portfolio payoffs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 1222-1246.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:147:y:2012:i:3:p:1222-1246
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2011.11.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1972. "Addendum to "increasing risk: I. A definition"," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 306-306, October.
    4. Oliver D. Hart, 1975. "Some Negative Results on the Existence of Comparative Statics (Properties) in Portfolio Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(4), pages 615-621.
    5. Stephen A. Ross, 2005. "Mutual Fund Separation in Financial Theory—The Separating Distributions," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Theory Of Valuation, chapter 10, pages 309-356 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. 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.
    7. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elie Bouri & Rangan Gupta & Chi Keung Marco Lau & David Roubaud, 2019. "Risk Aversion and Bitcoin Returns in Normal, Bull, and Bear Markets," Working Papers 201927, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    2. Bernard, Carole & Chen, Jit Seng & Vanduffel, Steven, 2015. "Rationalizing investors’ choices," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 10-23.
    3. Dejian Tian & Weidong Tian, 2016. "Comparative statics under κ-ambiguity for log-Brownian asset prices," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 12(4), pages 361-378, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk aversion; Portfolio theory; Stochastic dominance; Complete markets; Two-fund separation;

    JEL classification:

    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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