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Increased Risk-Bearing with Background Risk

Analyses of risk-bearing often assume that agents face only one risk when deciding how much risk to bear. Agents however usually face several risks at the same time and the interaction between risks can affect the willingness to bear any particular one of them. We consider how the introduction of uninsurable background risk affects the comparative statics predictions of distribution changes in the standard two-asset portfolio model. We show that such predictions are fairly robust, no matter what the correlation between the background risk and the risky asset's return distribution. We consider changes in the conditional distributions of the risky asset's return (holding the marginal distribution of the background risk fixed); and changes in the marginal distribution of the asset's return (holding the conditional distributions of the background risk fixed). For the first question, a version of Gollier's (1995) Central Riskiness order is sufficient and necessary to increase risk-bearing. For the second question, Monotone Likelihood Ratio improvements are sufficient and necessary.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University in its series Working Papers with number 2132848.

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  1. Christian Gollier, 2004. "The Economics of Risk and Time," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572249, June.
  2. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah, 2000. "Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Background Risk," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 1-26, January.
  3. Meyer, Jack & Ormiston, Michael B, 1994. "The Effect on Optimal Portfolios of Changing the Return to a Risky Asset: The Case of Dependent Risky Returns," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(3), pages 603-12, August.
  4. Athey, Susan, 2002. "Monotone Comparative Statics Under Uncertainty," Scholarly Articles 3372263, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Eeckhoudt, Louis & Gollier, Christian, 1995. "Demand for Risky Assets and the Monotone Probability Ratio Order," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 113-22, September.
  6. Dionne, Georges & Gollier, Christian, 1996. "A Model of Comparative Statics for Changes in Stochastic Returns with Dependent Risky Assets," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 147-62, September.
  7. Gollier, Christian & Pratt, John W, 1996. "Risk Vulnerability and the Tempering Effect of Background Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1109-23, September.
  8. Gollier Christian, 1995. "The Comparative Statics of Changes in Risk Revisited," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 522-535, August.
  9. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Romer, David & Williams, Steve, 1981. "Risk Aversion with Random Initial Wealth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 911-20, June.
  10. Jewitt, Ian, 1987. "Risk Aversion and the Choice between Risky Prospects: The Preservation of Comparative Statics Results," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 73-85, January.
  11. Eeckhoudt, Louis & Gollier, Christian & Schlesinger, Harris, 1996. "Changes in Background Risk and Risk-Taking Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 683-89, May.
  12. Machina, Mark J, 1982. ""Expected Utility" Analysis without the Independence Axiom," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 277-323, March.
  13. Ormiston Michael B. & Schlee Edward E., 1993. "Comparative Statics under Uncertainty for a Class of Economic Agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 412-422, December.
  14. Hadar, Josef & Seo, Tae Kun, 1990. "The Effects of Shifts in a Return Distribution on Optimal Portfolios," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(3), pages 721-36, August.
  15. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1987. "Proper Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 143-54, January.
  16. Meyer, Jack & Ormiston, Michael B, 1985. "Strong Increases in Risk and Their Comparative Statics," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 425-37, June.
  17. Paul R. Milgrom, 1979. "Good Nevs and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Discussion Papers 407R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  18. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1971. "Increasing risk II: Its economic consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 66-84, March.
  19. Cheng, Hsueh-Cheng & Magill, Michael J P & Shafer, Wayne J, 1987. "Some Results on Comparative Statics under Uncertainty," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(2), pages 493-507, June.
  20. Athey, S., 1996. "Characterizing Properties of Stochastic Objective Functions," Working papers 96-1, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  21. Susan Athey, 2002. "Monotone Comparative Statics Under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 187-223, February.
  22. Ormiston, Michael B & Schlee, Edward E, 2001. "Mean-Variance Preferences and Investor Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 849-61, October.
  23. Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "Some Stronger Measures of Risk Aversion in the Small and the Large with Applications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 621-38, May.
  24. Nachman, David C., 1982. "Preservation of "more risk averse" under expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 361-368, December.
  25. D. Kira & W. T. Ziemba, 1980. "The Demand for a Risky Asset," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(11), pages 1158-1165, November.
  26. Kimball, Miles S, 1993. "Standard Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 589-611, May.
  27. Gollier, Christian, 1997. "A Note on Portfolio Dominance," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(1), pages 147-50, January.
  28. Peter C. Fishburn & R. Burr Porter, 1976. "Optimal Portfolios with One Safe and One Risky Asset: Effects of Changes in Rate of Return and Risk," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(10), pages 1064-1073, June.
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