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Riscophobie et étalement à moyenne constante : analyse et applications


  • Boyer, Marcel

    (Département de sciences économiques, Université de Montréal)

  • Dionne, Georges

    (Département de sciences économiques, Université de Montréal)


The purpose of this paper is to show that, for the risky situation caracterized by the probability p of losing an amount h, there exists an adequate measure of the risk variations caused by equivalent changes in p and h. This follows from an application of the concept of mean-preserving spread developed by Rothschild and Stiglitz. The main result—that a risk averse agent will always prefer a decrease in the amount of loss to an equivalent reduction in the probability of loss—is applied to different problems ranging from unemployment insurance, double parking, and autosafety regulation to price controls, lotteries and the choice of self insurance and self protection. Finally, we derive a measure of compensation related to the degree of risk aversion. L’objet de cet article est de montrer que, pour la perspective aléatoire caractérisée par la probabilité p de perdre une valeur h, il existe une mesure adéquate des variations dans le risque engendrées par des variations comparables de p et h, ce qui permet d’isoler le facteur risque et de prédire le comportement des agents riscophobes. Cette mesure résulte d’une application du concept d’étalement à moyenne constante (mean-preserving spread) développé par Rothschild et Stiglitz. Le résultat principal est à l’effet qu’un agent riscophobe préférera toujours une diminution de la perte à une baisse comparable de la probabilité de perte. Nous appliquons ce résultat simple à diverses situations : assurance-chômage, réglementation par enquêtes et amendes, contrôle des prix et des salaires, sécurité routière, stationnement illégal, loteries, autoassurance vs autoprotection. Enfin nous dérivons une mesure de variation compensatoire de richesse reliée au degré de riscophobie.

Suggested Citation

  • Boyer, Marcel & Dionne, Georges, 1983. "Riscophobie et étalement à moyenne constante : analyse et applications," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 59(2), pages 208-229, juin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:59:y:1983:i:2:p:208-229

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Boyer, M. & Dionne, G., 1982. "The Choice Between Equivalent Variations in the Probability and Magnitude of Loss," Cahiers de recherche 8230, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    2. Dionne, G. & Eeckhoudt, L., 1982. "Risk Aversion, Insurance and Gambling," Cahiers de recherche 8243, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    3. Ehrlich, Isaac & Becker, Gary S, 1972. "Market Insurance, Self-Insurance, and Self-Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 623-648, July-Aug..
    4. Marcel Boyer & Georges Dionne, 1983. "Variations in the Probability and Magnitude of Loss: Their Impact on Risk," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(3), pages 411-419, August.
    5. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. BOYER, Marcel & PORRINI, Donatella, 2010. "Optimal Liability Sharing and Court Errors : An Exploratory Analysis," Cahiers de recherche 05-2010, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    2. Allain, Marie-Laure & Boyer, Marcel & Kotchoni, Rachidi & Ponssard, Jean-Pierre, 2015. "Are cartel fines optimal? Theory and evidence from the European Union," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 38-47.
    3. Boyer, Marcel & Porrini, Donatella, 2011. "The impact of court errors on liability sharing and safety regulation for environmental/industrial accidents," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 21-29, March.
    4. Marcel Boyer & Philippe Mahenc & Michel Moreaux, 2007. "Environmental Protection, Consumer Awareness, Product Characteristics, and Market Power," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-05, CIRANO.

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