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Pareto utility

Author

Listed:
  • Masako Ikefuji

    ()

  • Roger Laeven

    ()

  • Jan Magnus

    ()

  • Chris Muris

    ()

Abstract

In searching for an appropriate utility function in the expected utility framework, we formulate four properties that we want the utility function to satisfy. We conduct a search for such a function, and we identify Pareto utility as a function satisfying all four desired properties. Pareto utility is a flexible yet simple and parsimonious two-parameter family. It exhibits decreasing absolute risk aversion and increasing but bounded relative risk aversion. It is applicable irrespective of the probability distribution relevant to the prospect to be evaluated. Pareto utility is therefore particularly suited for catastrophic risk analysis. A new and related class of generalized exponential (gexpo) utility functions is also studied. This class is particularly relevant in situations where absolute risk tolerance is thought to be concave rather than linear. Copyright The Author(s) 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Masako Ikefuji & Roger Laeven & Jan Magnus & Chris Muris, 2013. "Pareto utility," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(1), pages 43-57, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:75:y:2013:i:1:p:43-57 DOI: 10.1007/s11238-012-9293-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Simone Cerreia‐Vioglio & David Dillenberger & Pietro Ortoleva, 2015. "Cautious Expected Utility and the Certainty Effect," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 693-728, March.
    2. Ikefuji, Masako & Laeven, Roger J.A. & Magnus, Jan R. & Muris, Chris, 2015. "Expected utility and catastrophic consumption risk," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 306-312.
    3. Simon Dietz & Nicoleta Anca Matei, 2016. "Spaces for Agreement: A Theory of Time-Stochastic Dominance and an Application to Climate Change," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, pages 85-130.
    4. Simon Dietz & Nicoleta Anca Matei, 2016. "Spaces for Agreement: A Theory of Time-Stochastic Dominance and an Application to Climate Change," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, pages 85-130.
    5. Masako Ikefuji & Roger Laeven & Jan Magnus & Chris Muris, 2014. "Expected Utility and Catastrophic Risk," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-133/III, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Simon Dietz & Anca N. Matei, 2013. "Is there space for agreement on climate change? A non-parametric approach to policy evaluation," GRI Working Papers 136, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Parametric utility; Hyperbolic absolute risk aversion (HARA); Exponential utility; Power utility; D81;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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