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A Class of Utility Functions Containing all the Common Utility Functions


  • Patrick L. Brockett

    (Graduate School of Business, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712-1179)

  • Linda L. Golden

    (Graduate School of Business, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712-1179)


This paper presents a class of utility functions (class A \infty ) that contains all of the utility functions commonly used for mathematical modeling: the class consisting of those utility functions whose derivatives alternate in sign. A simple representation via mixtures of exponential utilities is provided for this class which is both mathematically convenient and conducive to functional operations. A connection with Laplace transforms and the resultant implications for preference relations, aggregation and utility assessment are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick L. Brockett & Linda L. Golden, 1987. "A Class of Utility Functions Containing all the Common Utility Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(8), pages 955-964, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:33:y:1987:i:8:p:955-964

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