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Diversification preferences in the theory of choice

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  • Enrico G. De Giorgi

    () (University of St. Gallen)

  • Ola Mahmoud

    () (University of St. Gallen
    University of California)

Abstract

Abstract Diversification represents the idea of choosing variety over uniformity. Within the theory of choice, desirability of diversification is axiomatized as preference for a convex combination of choices that are equivalently ranked. This corresponds to the notion of risk aversion when one assumes the von Neumann–Morgenstern expected utility model, but the equivalence fails to hold in other models. This paper analyzes axiomatizations of the concept of diversification and their relationship to the related notions of risk aversion and convex preferences within different choice theoretic models. Implications of these notions on portfolio choice are discussed. We cover model-independent diversification preferences, preferences within models of choice under risk, including expected utility theory and the more general rank-dependent expected utility theory, as well as models of choice under uncertainty axiomatized via Choquet expected utility theory. Remarks on interpretations of diversification preferences within models of behavioral choice are given in the conclusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrico G. De Giorgi & Ola Mahmoud, 2016. "Diversification preferences in the theory of choice," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer;Associazione per la Matematica, vol. 39(2), pages 143-174, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:decfin:v:39:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s10203-016-0182-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s10203-016-0182-4
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Assa, Hirbod & Zimper, Alexander, 2018. "Preferences over all random variables: Incompatibility of convexity and continuity," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 71-83.
    2. Enrico G. De Giorgi & Ola Mahmoud, 2016. "Naive Diversification Preferences and their Representation," Papers 1611.01285, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2016.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Diversification; Risk aversion; Convex preferences; Portfolio choice;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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