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The Generalised Extreme Value Distribution as Utility Function

  • Denis Conniffe

    (National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Co Kildare)

The idea that probability distribution functions could provide appropriate mathematical forms for utility functions representing risk aversion is of respectable antiquity. But the relatively few examples that have appeared in the economics literature have displayed quite restrictive risk aversion properties. This paper examines the potential of the generalised extreme value (GEV) distribution as utility function, showing it possesses considerable flexibility as regards risk aversion properties, even in its single parameter form. The paper concludes that the GEV utility function is worth considering for applications in cases where parametric parsimony matters.

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File URL: http://www.esr.ie/Vol38_3/01%20Vol%2038%20Conniffe.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Article provided by Economic and Social Studies in its journal Economic and Social Review.

Volume (Year): 38 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 275–288

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Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:38:y:2007:i:3:p:275-288
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  1. Marvin H. Berhold, 1973. "The Use of Distribution Functions to Represent Utility Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(7), pages 825-829, March.
  2. H. M. Shefrin & Richard Thaler, 1977. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," NBER Working Papers 0208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Standard Risk Aversion," NBER Technical Working Papers 0099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Manski, Charles F, 2001. " Daniel McFadden and the Econometric Analysis of Discrete Choice," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(2), pages 217-29, June.
  5. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
  6. LiCalzi, Marco & Sorato, Annamaria, 2006. "The Pearson system of utility functions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 172(2), pages 560-573, July.
  7. Meyer, Jack, 2007. "Representing Risk Preferences in Expected Utility Based Decision Models," SCC-76 Meeting, March 15-17, 2007, Gulf Shores, Alabama 9380, SCC-76: Economics and Management of Risk in Agriculture and Natural Resources.
  8. Caballé, Jordi & Pomansky, Alexey, 1995. "Mixed Risk Aversion," Working Paper Series 444, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
  10. Danyang Xie, 2000. "Power Risk Aversion Utility Functions," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 1(2), pages 265-282, November.
  11. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1987. "Proper Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 143-54, January.
  12. Gregory, Nathaniel, 1980. "Relative Wealth and Risk Taking: A Short Note on the Friedman-Savage Utility Function," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(6), pages 1226-30, December.
  13. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1985. "Psychophysical laws in risk theory," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 185-206, June.
  14. Meyer, Donald J. & Meyer, Jack, 2005. "Risk preferences in multi-period consumption models, the equity premium puzzle, and habit formation utility," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1497-1515, November.
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