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The Economics of Risk and Time


  • Christian Gollier

    () (University of Toulouse)


This book updates and advances the theory of expected utility as applied to risk analysis and financial decision making. Von Neumann and Morgenstern pioneered the use of expected utility theory in the 1940s, but most utility functions used in financial management are still relatively simplistic and assume a mean-variance world. Taking into account recent advances in the economics of risk and uncertainty, this book focuses on richer applications of expected utility in finance, macroeconomics, and environmental economics. The book covers these topics: expected utility theory and related concepts; the standard portfolio problem of choice under uncertainty involving two different assets; P the basic hyperplane separation theorem and log-supermodular functions as technical tools for solving various decision-making problems under uncertainty; s choice involving multiple risks; the Arrow-Debreu portfolio problem; consumption and saving; the equilibrium price of risk and time in an Arrow-Debreu economy; and dynamic models of decision making when a flow of information on future risks is expected over time. The book is appropriate for both students and professionals. Concepts are presented intuitively as well as formally, and the theory is balanced by empirical considerations. Each chapter concludes with a problem set.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Gollier, 2004. "The Economics of Risk and Time," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572249, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262572249

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Van Wijnbergen, Sweden, 1986. "On fiscal deficits, the real exchange rate and the world rate of interest," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1013-1023, October.
    2. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 37-49, March.
    3. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
    4. Sutherland, Alan, 1997. "Fiscal crises and aggregate demand: can high public debt reverse the effects of fiscal policy?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 147-162, August.
    5. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
    6. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
    7. Uzawa, H, 1969. "Time Preference and the Penrose Effect in a Two-Class Model of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(4), pages 628-652, Part II, .
    8. van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1987. "Tariffs, Employment and the Current Account: Real Wage Resistance and the Macroeconomics of Protectionism," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(3), pages 691-706, October.
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    More about this item


    expected utility theory; financial decision making; risk analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • B0 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General
    • G0 - Financial Economics - - General
    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models


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