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Correlated risks, bivariate utility and optimal choices

Author

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  • Michel Denuit

    ()

  • Louis Eeckhoudt

    ()

  • Mario Menegatti

    ()

Abstract

In this paper, we consider a décision-maker facing a financial risk flanked by a background risk, possibly non-financial, such as health or environmental risk. A decision has to be made about the amount of an investment (in the financial dimension) resulting in a future benefit either in the same dimension (savings) or in the order dimension (environmental quality or health improvement). In the first case, we show that the optimal amount of savings decreases as the pair of risks increases in the bivariate increasing concave dominance rules of higher degrees which express the common preferences of all the decision-makers whose two-argument utility function possesses direct and cross derivatives fulfilling some specific requirements. Roughly speaking, the optimal amount of savings decreases as the two risks become "less positively correlated" or marginally improve in univariate stochastic dominance. In the second case, a similar conclusion on optimal investment is reached under alternative conditions on the derivatives of the utility function.
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Suggested Citation

  • Michel Denuit & Louis Eeckhoudt & Mario Menegatti, 2011. "Correlated risks, bivariate utility and optimal choices," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 46(1), pages 39-54, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:46:y:2011:i:1:p:39-54
    DOI: 10.1007/s00199-009-0500-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Elyès Jouini & Clotilde Napp & Diego Nocetti, 2013. "Economic consequences of Nth-degree risk increases and Nth-degree risk attitudes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 199-224, October.
    2. Donatella Baiardi & Mario Menegatti, 2011. "Pigouvian tax, abatement policies and uncertainty on the environment," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 103(3), pages 221-251, July.
    3. Dionne, Georges & Li, Jingyuan, 2014. "Comparative Ross risk aversion in the presence of mean dependent risks," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 128-135.
    4. Jouini, Elyès & Napp, Clotilde & Nocetti, Diego, 2013. "The marginal propensity to consume and multidimensional risk," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 124-127.
    5. Christoph Heinzel, 2014. "Term structure of discount rates under multivariate s-ordered consumption growth," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 14-01, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.
    6. Xue, Minggao & Cheng, Wen, 2013. "Background risk, bivariate risk attitudes, and optimal prevention," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 390-395.
    7. Jouini, Elyès & Napp, Clotilde & Nocetti, Diego, 2013. "On multivariate prudence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 1255-1267.
    8. Denuit, Michel M. & Mesfioui, Mhamed, 2017. "Preserving the Rothschild–Stiglitz type increase in risk with background risk: A characterization," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-5.
    9. Li, Jingyuan & Liu, Dongri & Wang, Jianli, 2016. "Risk aversion with two risks: A theoretical extension," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 100-105.
    10. Donatella Baiardi & Matteo Manera & Mario Menegatti, 2014. "The Effects of Environmental Risk on Consumption: an Empirical Analysis on the Mediterranean Countries," Working Papers 271, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2014.
    11. Michel Denuit & Rachel Huang & Larry Tzeng, 2014. "Bivariate almost stochastic dominance," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 57(2), pages 377-405, October.
    12. Ikefuji, Masako & Horii, Ryo, 2012. "Natural disasters in a two-sector model of endogenous growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 784-796.
    13. Georges Dionne & Jingyuan Li, 2012. "Comparative Ross Risk Aversion in the Presence of Quadrant Dependent Risks," Cahiers de recherche 1226, CIRPEE.
    14. Donatella Baiardi & Marco Magnani & Mario Menegatti, 2014. "Precautionary saving under many risks," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 113(3), pages 211-228, November.
    15. Marco Magnani & Mario Menegatti, 2015. "Precautionary saving and changes in risk correlation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 561-570.
    16. Baiardi, Donatella & Manera, Matteo & Menegatti, Mario, 2013. "Consumption and precautionary saving: An empirical analysis under both financial and environmental risks," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 157-166.
    17. He, Junnan & Tang, Qihe & Zhang, Huan, 2016. "Risk reducers in convex order," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 80-88.
    18. Jingyuan Li, 2012. "Precautionary saving in the presence of labor income and interest rate risks," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 106(3), pages 251-266, July.
    19. Jianli Wang & Pu Gong, 2013. "Labor supply with stochastic wage rate and non-labor income uncertainty," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 109(1), pages 41-55, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Precautionary savings; Background risk; Bivariate higher order increasing concave stochastic dominance; Risks correlation; D81; E21;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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