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Measuring farmers’ risk aversion: the unknown properties of the value function

  • Cao, Ruixuan
  • Carpentier, Alain
  • Gohin, Alexandre

We argue in this paper that available econometric estimates of farmers’ risk aversion do not measure true farmers’ preferences towards risky outcomes. Available analyses are mostly of static nature and indeed measure the parameters of the synthetic optimal value function rather than the deep parameters of the utility functions. We derive analytical and empirical results in a simple dynamic and stochastic framework showing that that there is not a simple relationship between utility functions and value functions when agents have many decision variables. In particular we find that the value function does not necessarily exhibit DARA when the instantaneous utility function satisfies DARA and conversely. We recommend performing dynamic econometric estimation with at least farm production and consumption data.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/114623
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Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland with number 114623.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae11:114623
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  1. Pope, Rulon D. & LaFrance, Jeffrey T & Just, Richard E., 2007. "Agricultural Arbitrage and Risk Preferences," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt3tw1m1p0, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  2. Santanu Roy & Rien Wagenvoort, 1996. "Risk preference and indirect utility in portfolio-choice problems," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 139-150, June.
  3. Donald Meyer & Jack Meyer, 2005. "Relative Risk Aversion: What Do We Know?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 243-262, December.
  4. Sergio H. Lence, 2007. "Joint Estimation of Risk Preferences and Technology: Flexible Utility or Futility?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(3), pages 581-598.
  5. David A. Hennessy, 1998. "The Production Effects of Agricultural Income Support Policies under Uncertainty," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 46-57.
  6. Just, Richard E. & Just, David R., 2011. "Global identification of risk preferences with revealed preference data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 162(1), pages 6-17, May.
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