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Diversification Preferences in the Theory of Choice

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  • Enrico G. De Giorgi
  • Ola Mahmoud

Abstract

Diversification represents the idea of choosing variety over uniformity. Within the theory of choice, desirability of diversification is axiomatized as preference for a convex combination of choices that are equivalently ranked. This corresponds to the notion of risk aversion when one assumes the von-Neumann-Morgenstern expected utility model, but the equivalence fails to hold in other models. This paper studies axiomatizations of the concept of diversification and their relationship to the related notions of risk aversion and convex preferences within different choice theoretic models. Implications of these notions on portfolio choice are discussed. We cover model-independent diversification preferences, preferences within models of choice under risk, including expected utility theory and the more general rank-dependent expected utility theory, as well as models of choice under uncertainty axiomatized via Choquet expected utility theory. Remarks on interpretations of diversification preferences within models of behavioral choice are given in the conclusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrico G. De Giorgi & Ola Mahmoud, 2015. "Diversification Preferences in the Theory of Choice," Papers 1507.02025, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1507.02025
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    Cited by:

    1. Enrico G. De Giorgi & Ola Mahmoud, 2016. "Naive Diversification Preferences and their Representation," Papers 1611.01285, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2016.
    2. Assa, Hirbod & Zimper, Alexander, 2018. "Preferences over all random variables: Incompatibility of convexity and continuity," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 71-83.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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