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Smooth Value Functions for a Class of Nonsmooth Utility Maximization Problems

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  • Baojun Bian
  • Sheng Miao
  • Harry Zheng

Abstract

In this paper we prove that there exists a smooth classical solution to the HJB equation for a large class of constrained problems with utility functions that are not necessarily differentiable or strictly concave. The value function is smooth if admissible controls satisfy an integrability condition or if it is continuous on the closure of its domain. The key idea is to work on the dual control problem and the dual HJB equation. We construct a smooth, strictly convex solution to the dual HJB equation and show that its conjugate function is a smooth, strictly concave solution to the primal HJB equation satisfying the terminal and boundary conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Baojun Bian & Sheng Miao & Harry Zheng, 2010. "Smooth Value Functions for a Class of Nonsmooth Utility Maximization Problems," Papers 1005.3956, arXiv.org.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1005.3956
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    File URL: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1005.3956
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