IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Greater Downside Risk Aversion


  • Keenan, Donald C
  • Snow, Arthur


Although investors are concerned foremost with mean and variance, they are also sensitive to downside risk. In this paper, we introduce an index of downside risk aversion to distinguish risk aversion from higher-order aspects of risk preference, including prudence. We show that the index of downside risk aversion S increases with monotonic downside risk averse transformations of utility, thereby directly linking S to the definition of downside risk aversion introduced by Menezes, et al. (1980). Although the index S applies equally to risk averse and risk loving decision makers, for a given positive degree of risk aversion, S is greater when the index of prudence is greater and vice versa. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Keenan, Donald C & Snow, Arthur, 2002. "Greater Downside Risk Aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 267-277, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:24:y:2002:i:3:p:267-77

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Moore, Michael J & Viscusi, W Kip, 1988. "The Quantity-Adjusted Value of Life," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(3), pages 369-388, July.
    2. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
    3. Janusz R. Mrozek & Laura O. Taylor, 2002. "What determines the value of life? a meta-analysis," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 253-270.
    4. Buzby, Jean C. & Ready, Richard C. & Skees, Jerry R., 1995. "Contingent Valuation In Food Policy Analysis: A Case Study Of A Pesticide-Residue Risk Reduction," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 27(02), December.
    5. Hersch, Joni & Pickton, Todd S, 1995. "Risk-Taking Activities and Heterogeneity of Job-Risk Tradeoffs," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 205-217, December.
    6. Corso, Phaedra S & Hammitt, James K & Graham, John D, 2001. "Valuing Mortality-Risk Reduction: Using Visual Aids to Improve the Validity of Contingent Valuation," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 165-184, September.
    7. Krupnick, Alan & Alberini, Anna & Cropper, Maureen & Simon, Nathalie & O'Brien, Bernie & Goeree, Ron & Heintzelman, Martin, 2002. "Age, Health and the Willingness to Pay for Mortality Risk Reductions: A Contingent Valuation Survey of Ontario Residents," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 161-186, March.
    8. Hammitt, James K & Graham, John D, 1999. "Willingness to Pay for Health Protection: Inadequate Sensitivity to Probability?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 33-62, April.
    9. Viscusi, W. Kip & Moore, Michael J., 1989. "Rates of time preference and valuations of the duration of life," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 297-317, April.
    10. Joni Hersch & W. Kip Viscusi, 1990. "Cigarette Smoking, Seatbelt Use, and Differences in Wage-Risk Tradeoffs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(2), pages 202-227.
    11. Rosen, Sherwin, 1988. "The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 285-304, September.
    12. Payne, John W & Schkade, David A. & Desvousges, William H. & Aultman, Chris, 2000. "Valuation of Multiple Environmental Programs," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 95-115, July.
    13. Yew-Kwang Ng, 1992. "The older the more valuable: Divergence between utility and dollar values of life as one ages," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, February.
    14. Savage, Ian, 1993. "An Empirical Investigation into the Effect of Psychological Perceptions on the Willingness-to-Pay to Reduce Risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 75-90, January.
    15. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
    16. Krupnick, Alan & Cropper, Maureen & Alberini, Anna & Simon, Nathalie, 2002. "Does the Value of a Statistical Life Vary with Age and Health Status? Evidence from the United States and Canada," Discussion Papers dp-02-19, Resources For the Future.
    17. Johannesson, Magnus & Johansson, Per-Olov & Lofgren, Karl-Gustaf, 1997. "On the Value of Changes in Life Expectancy: Blips versus Parametric Changes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 221-239, December.
    18. Wesley A. Magat & W. Kip Viscusi & Joel Huber, 1996. "A Reference Lottery Metric for Valuing Health," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(8), pages 1118-1130, August.
    19. W. Kip Viscusi & Joni Hersch, 2001. "Cigarette Smokers As Job Risk Takers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 269-280, May.
    20. Jones-Lee, Michael W, 1974. "The Value of Changes in the Probability of Death or Injury," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 835-849, July/Aug..
    21. Moore, Michael J & Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Models for Estimating Discount Rates for Long-term Health Risks Using Labor Market Data," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 381-401, December.
    22. Horowitz, John K & Carson, Richard T, 1990. "Discounting Statistical Lives," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 403-413, December.
    23. Gerking, Shelby & de Haan, Menno & Schulze, William, 1988. "The Marginal Value of Job Safety: A Contingent Valuation Study," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 185-199, June.
    24. Cropper, Maureen L & Portney, Paul R, 1990. "Discounting and the Evaluation of Lifesaving Programs," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 369-379, December.
    25. Cropper, Maureen L & Aydede, Sema K & Portney, Paul R, 1994. "Preferences for Life Saving Programs: How the Public Discounts Time and Age," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 243-265, May.
    26. Jones-Lee, M W & Hammerton, M & Philips, P R, 1985. "The Value of Safety: Results of a National Sample Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(377), pages 49-72, March.
    27. Dreyfus, Mark K & Viscusi, W Kip, 1995. "Rates of Time Preference and Consumer Valuations of Automobile Safety and Fuel Efficiency," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 79-105, April.
    28. Cropper, Maureen L. & G. Sussman, Frances, 1990. "Valuing future risks to life," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 160-174, September.
    29. Moore, Michael J. & Viscusi, W. Kip, 1990. "Discounting environmental health risks: New evidence and policy implications," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 51-62, March.
    30. Lee, Stephanie J. & Neumann, Peter J. & Churchill, W. Hallowell & Cannon, Marie E. & Weinstein, Milton C. & Johannesson, Magnus, 1997. "Patients' willingness to pay for autologous blood donation," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-12, April.
    31. Tsu-Tan Fu & Jin-Tan Liu & James K. Hammitt, 1999. "Consumer Willingness to Pay for Low-Pesticide Fresh Produce in Taiwan," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 220-233.
    32. Jin-Tan Liu & James K Hammitt, 1999. "Perceived risk and value of workplace safety in a developing country," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(3), pages 263-275, July.
    33. Subramanian, Uma & Cropper, Maureen, 2000. "Public Choices between Life Saving Programs: The Tradeoff between Qualitative Factors and Lives Saved," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 117-149, July.
    34. Liu, Jin-Tan & Hammitt, James K. & Liu, Jin-Long, 1997. "Estimated hedonic wage function and value of life in a developing country," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 353-358, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Liqun Liu & Andrew Rettenmaier & Thomas Saving, 2009. "Conditional payments and self-protection," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 159-172, April.
    2. Keenan, Donald C. & Snow, Arthur, 2009. "Greater downside risk aversion in the large," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1092-1101, May.
    3. repec:eee:mateco:v:71:y:2017:i:c:p:119-128 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Donald Keenan & Arthur Snow, 2012. "The Schwarzian derivative as a ranking of downside risk aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 149-160, April.
    5. Keenan, Donald C. & Snow, Arthur, 2010. "Greater prudence and greater downside risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 2018-2026, September.
    6. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2005:i:16:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. David Crainich & Louis Eeckhoudt, 2008. "On the intensity of downside risk aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 267-276, June.
    8. Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné & Marie-Cécile Fagart, 2004. "Auditing policies and information," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 86, Econometric Society.
    9. Liu, Liqun & Meyer, Jack, 2013. "Substituting one risk increase for another: A method for measuring risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2706-2718.
    10. Jindapon, Paan, 2010. "Prudence probability premium," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 34-37, October.
    11. Kim, Kwansoo & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Barham, Bradford L. & Foltz, Jeremy D., 2012. "Rice, Irrigation and Downside Risk: A Quantile Analysis of Risk Exposure and Mitigation on Korean Farms," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124814, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    12. Liqun Liu & Jack Meyer, 2012. "Decreasing absolute risk aversion, prudence and increased downside risk aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 243-260, June.
    13. Marie-Cécile Fagart & Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné, 2007. "Ranking Contingent Monitoring Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(9), pages 1501-1509, September.
    14. Udo Ebert, 2005. "Measures of downside risk," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(16), pages 1-9.
    15. Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné & Sandrine Spaeter, 2016. "Incentive Contracts and Downside Risk Sharing," Working Papers of BETA 2016-22, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    16. Donald C. Keenan & Arthur Snow, 2016. "Strong Increases in Downside Risk Aversion," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance Theory, Springer;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 41(2), pages 149-161, September.
    17. Yoshitaka Sakagami, 2016. "A note on fourth-order risk aversion," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer;Associazione per la Matematica, vol. 39(1), pages 105-111, April.
    18. James Huang & Richard Stapleton, 2017. "Higher-order risk vulnerability," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 63(2), pages 387-406, February.
    19. Bredin, Don & Conlon, Thomas & Potì, Valerio, 2017. "The price of shelter - Downside risk reduction with precious metals," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 48-58.
    20. Richard Watt & Francisco J. Vazquez, 2013. "Allocative downside risk aversion," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 9(4), pages 267-277, December.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:24:y:2002:i:3:p:267-77. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.