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Representing risk preferences in expected utility based decision models

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  • Jack Meyer

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Abstract

Users of expected utility based decision models frequently find it useful or necessary to specify a functional form that represents the risk preferences of a decision maker. Having additional functional forms from which to choose would be helpful. The literature so far has provided several such functional forms for the utility function itself. The discussion presented here indicates that providing a functional form for the marginal utility function is an alternate and equally useful way to represent risk preferences. Furthermore, functional forms for marginal utility are easier to provide, and there exist functional forms for marginal utility that represent simple risk preferences for which there is no associated functional form for the utility function. Several functional forms for marginal utility are suggested, and the class of isoelastic risk preferences is identified and discussed. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Suggested Citation

  • Jack Meyer, 2010. "Representing risk preferences in expected utility based decision models," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 176(1), pages 179-190, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:annopr:v:176:y:2010:i:1:p:179-190:10.1007/s10479-008-0381-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s10479-008-0381-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Atanu Saha & C. Richard Shumway & Hovav Talpaz, 1994. "Joint Estimation of Risk Preference Structure and Technology Using Expo-Power Utility," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 76(2), pages 173-184.
    2. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    3. LiCalzi, Marco & Sorato, Annamaria, 2006. "The Pearson system of utility functions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 172(2), pages 560-573, July.
    4. 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.
    5. Denis Conniffe, 2007. "The Generalised Extreme Value Distribution as Utility Function," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 38(3), pages 275-288.
    6. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "The Equity Premium: It's Still a Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 42-71, March.
    7. Denis Conniffe, 2007. "The Flexible Three Parameter Utility Function," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 8(1), pages 57-63, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Donald Meyer & Jack Meyer, 2011. "A Diamond-Stiglitz approach to the demand for self-protection," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 45-60, February.
    2. Denis Conniffe, 2007. "The Generalised Extreme Value Distribution as Utility Function," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 38(3), pages 275-288.
    3. Yosra Miaoui & Noureddine Boudriga, 0. "Enterprise security investment through time when facing different types of vulnerabilities," Information Systems Frontiers, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-40.

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