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More pessimism than greediness: a characterization of monotone risk aversion in the rank-dependent expected utility model

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  • Alain Chateauneuf

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  • Michéle Cohen

    ()

  • Isaac Meilijson

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Abstract

This paper studies monotone risk aversion, the aversion to monotone, mean-preserving increase in risk (Quiggin [21]), in the Rank Dependent Expected Utility (RDEU) model. This model replaces expected utility by another functional, characterized by two functions, a utility function u in conjunction with a probability-perception function f. Monotone mean-preserving increases in risk are closely related to the notion of comparative dispersion introduced by Bickel and Lehmann [3,4] in Non-parametric Statistics. We present a characterization of the pairs (u,f) of monotone risk averse decision makers, based on an index of greediness G u of the utility function u and an index of pessimism P f of the probability perception function f: the decision maker is monotone risk averse if and only if $P_f\ge G_u$ . The index of greediness (non-concavity) of u is the supremum of $u^{\prime}(x)/u^{\prime}(y)$ taken over $y\leq x$ . The index of pessimism of f is the infimum of ${\frac{{1-f(v)}}{{1-v}}}/ {\frac{{f(v)}}{{v}}}$ taken over 0 > v > 1. Thus, $G_{u}\geq 1$ , with G u =1 iff u is concave. If $P_{f}\geq G_{u}$ then $P_{f}\geq 1$ , i.e., f is majorized by the identity function. Since P f =1 for Expected Utility maximizers, $P_{f}\geq G_{u}$ forces u to be concave in this case; thus, the characterization of risk aversion as $P_{f}\geq G_{u}$ is a direct generalization from EU to RDEU. A novel element is that concavity of u is not necessary. In fact, u must be concave only if P f =1. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Alain Chateauneuf & Michéle Cohen & Isaac Meilijson, 2005. "More pessimism than greediness: a characterization of monotone risk aversion in the rank-dependent expected utility model," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 25(3), pages 649-667, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:25:y:2005:i:3:p:649-667
    DOI: 10.1007/s00199-003-0451-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
    2. Chateauneuf, Alain & Cohen, Michele & Meilijson, Isaac, 2004. "Four notions of mean-preserving increase in risk, risk attitudes and applications to the rank-dependent expected utility model," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 547-571, August.
    3. Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
    4. Chateauneuf, Alain & Cohen, Michele, 1994. "Risk Seeking with Diminishing Marginal Utility in a Non-expected Utility Model," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 77-91, July.
    5. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
    6. Quiggin John & Wakker Peter, 1994. "The Axiomatic Basis of Anticipated Utility: A Clarification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 486-499, December.
    7. Allais Maurice, 1990. "Cardinal Utility," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-38, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Asheim, Geir B. & Zuber, Stéphane, 2016. "Evaluating intergenerational risks," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 104-117.
    2. Mao, Tiantian & Hu, Taizhong, 2012. "Characterization of left-monotone risk aversion in the RDEU model," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 413-422.
    3. Michèle Cohen & Isaac Meilijson, 2011. "In search of a characterization of the preference for safety under the Choquet model," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 11031, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    4. Gajdos, Thibault, 2004. "Single crossing Lorenz curves and inequality comparisons," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 21-36, January.
    5. Grant, Simon & Quiggin, John, 2005. "Increasing uncertainty: a definition," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 117-141, March.
    6. repec:kap:theord:v:84:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11238-017-9636-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00348822 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. John Quiggin & Robert Chambers, 2007. "Supermodularity and the Comparative Statics of Risk," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 97-117, March.
    9. Eichberger, Jürgen & Kelsey, David, 2007. "Ambiguity," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 07-50, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
      • Jürgen Eichberger & David Kelsey, 2007. "Ambiguity," Working Papers 0448, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2007.
      • Eichberger, Jürgen & Kelsey, David, 2007. "Ambiguity," Papers 07-50, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    10. Grant, S. & Quiggin, J., 2001. "A Model-Free Definition of Increasing Uncertainty," Discussion Paper 2001-84, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    11. Zuber, Stéphane & Asheim, Geir B., 2012. "Justifying social discounting: The rank-discounted utilitarian approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1572-1601.
    12. Sordo, Miguel A., 2008. "Characterizations of classes of risk measures by dispersive orders," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 1028-1034, June.
    13. Xiangyu Qu, 2015. "A belief-based definition of ambiguity aversion," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 79(1), pages 15-30, July.
    14. Louis R. Eeckhoudt & Roger J. A. Laeven, 2016. "Dual Moments and Risk Attitudes," Papers 1612.03347, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2018.
    15. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00594082 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Jordi Caballe & Joan Esteban, 2007. "Stochastic Dominance and Absolute Risk Aversion," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 28(1), pages 89-110, January.
    17. Minqiang Li, 2014. "On Aumann and Serrano’s economic index of risk," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(2), pages 415-437, February.
    18. Chateauneuf, Alain & Cohen, Michele & Meilijson, Isaac, 2004. "Four notions of mean-preserving increase in risk, risk attitudes and applications to the rank-dependent expected utility model," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 547-571, August.
    19. Elisa Pagani, 2015. "Certainty Equivalent: Many Meanings of a Mean," Working Papers 24/2015, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    20. Ulrich Schmidt & Horst Zank, 2005. "What is Loss Aversion?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 157-167, January.
    21. Michèle Cohen & Isaac Meilijson, 2014. "Preference for safety under the Choquet model: in search of a characterization," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(3), pages 619-642, April.
    22. Jean Baccelli, 2018. "Risk Attitudes in Axiomatic Decision Theory: a Conceptual Perspective," Post-Print hal-01620886, HAL.
    23. Horst Zank, 2010. "Consistent probability attitudes," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 44(2), pages 167-185, August.
    24. Ryan, Matthew J., 2006. "Risk aversion in RDEU," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 675-697, September.
    25. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00348810 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk aversion; Pessimism; Greediness; Rank-dependent expected utility.;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C60 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - General

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