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Skewness preference, mean-variance and the demand for put options

  • Geoffrey Poitras

    (Faculty of Business Administration, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada)

  • John Heaney

    (Faculty of Business Administration, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada)

This paper compares the mean-variance and the mean-variance-skewness approaches to modelling expected utility. Attention is focused on a problem encountered in risk management: determining the optimal demand for a put option hedging the return on an asset with a negatively skewed return distribution. It is demonstrated theoretically that incorporating positive skewness preference into the decision-maker's objective function typically produces a reduction in the demand for put options when compared with the mean-variance solution. A state-dependent example is provided to illustrate how a mean-variance-skewness objective can result in a significant reduction in the optimal amount of crop insurance demanded when compared with the mean-variance solution. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Managerial and Decision Economics.

Volume (Year): 20 (1999)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 327-342

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Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:20:y:1999:i:6:p:327-342
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/7976

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  1. Loistl, Otto, 1976. "The Erroneous Approximation of Expected Utility by Means of a Taylor's Series Expansion: Analytic and Computational Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 904-10, December.
  2. Ormiston, Michael B & Quiggin, John, 1993. " Two-Parameter Decision Models and Rank-Dependent Expected Utility," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 273-82, December.
  3. Kroll, Yoram & Levy, Haim & Markowitz, Harry M, 1984. " Mean-Variance versus Direct Utility Maximization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(1), pages 47-61, March.
  4. Levy, H & Markowtiz, H M, 1979. "Approximating Expected Utility by a Function of Mean and Variance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 308-17, June.
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