A two-parameter model of dispersion aversion
The idea of representing choice under uncertainty as a trade-off between mean returns and some measure of risk or uncertainty is fundamental to the analysis of investment decisions. In this paper, we show that preferences can be characterized in this way, even in the absence of objective probabilities. We develop a model of uncertainty averse preferences that is based on a mean and a measure of the dispersion of the state-wise utility of an act. The dispersion measure exhibits positive linear homogeneity, sub-additivity, translation invariance and complementary symmetry. Since preferences are only weakly separable in terms of these two summary statistics, the uncertainty premium need not be constant. We generalize the concept of decreasing absolute risk aversion. Further we derive two-fund separation and asset pricing results analogous to those that hold for the standard CAPM.
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