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Fear of loss, inframodularity, and transfers

  • Müller, Alfred
  • Scarsini, Marco

There exist several characterizations of concavity for univariate functions. One of them states that a function is concave if and only if it has nonincreasing differences. This definition provides a natural generalization of concavity for multivariate functions called inframodularity. Inframodular transfers are defined and it is shown that a finite lottery is preferred to another by all expected utility maximizers with an inframodular utility if and only if the first lottery can be obtained from the second via a sequence of inframodular transfers. This result is a natural multivariate generalization of Rothschild and Stiglitzʼs construction based on mean preserving spreads.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 147 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 1490-1500

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:147:y:2012:i:4:p:1490-1500
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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  1. Machina, Mark J & Pratt, John W, 1997. "Increasing Risk: Some Direct Constructions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 103-27, March.
  2. Arlotto, Alessandro & Scarsini, Marco, 2009. "Hessian orders and multinormal distributions," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 100(10), pages 2324-2330, November.
  3. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
  4. Massimo Marinacci & Luigi Montrucchio, 2003. "Ultramodular functions," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 13-2003, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  5. Grant, Simon & Kajii, Atsushi & Polak, Ben, 1992. "Many good risks: An interpretation of multivariate risk and risk aversion without the Independence axiom," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 338-351, April.
  6. Muller, Alfred, 1996. "Orderings of risks: A comparative study via stop-loss transforms," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 215-222, April.
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