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Putting Risk in its Proper Place

  • Louis Eeckhoudt
  • Harris Schlesinger

This paper examines preferences towards particular classes of lottery pairs. We show how concepts such as prudence and temperance can be fully characterized by a preference relation over these lotteries. If preferences are defined in an expected-utility framework with differentiable utility, the direction of preference for a particular class of lottery pairs is equivalent to signing the nth derivative of the utility function. What makes our characterization appealing is its simplicity, which seems particularly amenable to experimentation.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2005/wp-cesifo-2005-05/cesifo1_wp1462.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1462.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1462
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  1. Eeckhoudt, Louis & Gollier, Christian & Schneider, Thierry, 1995. "Risk-aversion, prudence and temperance: A unified approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 331-336, June.
  2. Nachman, David C., 1982. "Preservation of "more risk averse" under expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 361-368, December.
  3. Patrick L. Brockett & Linda L. Golden, 1987. "A Class of Utility Functions Containing all the Common Utility Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(8), pages 955-964, August.
  4. Lajeri-Chaherli, Fatma, 2004. "Proper prudence, standard prudence and precautionary vulnerability," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 29-34, January.
  5. EECKHOUDT, Louis & Christian GOLLIER & Harris SCHLESINGER, 1994. "Changes in Background Risk and Risk Taking Behavior," Working Papers 005, Risk and Insurance Archive.
  6. Kimball, Miles S, 1993. "Standard Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 589-611, May.
  7. Bigelow, John P & Menezes, Carmen F, 1995. "Outside Risk Aversion and the Comparative Statics of Increasing Risk in Quasi-linear Decision Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(3), pages 643-73, August.
  8. Caballé, Jordi & Pomansky, Alexey, 1995. "Mixed Risk Aversion," Working Paper Series 444, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. Uzi Segal & Avia Spivak, 1988. "First Order Versus Second Order Risk Aversion," UCLA Economics Working Papers 540, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Precautionary Motives for Holding Assets," NBER Working Papers 3586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  12. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
  13. Menezes, C & Geiss, C & Tressler, J, 1980. "Increasing Downside Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 921-32, December.
  14. Menezes, Carmen F. & Wang, X.Henry, 2005. "Increasing outer risk," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 875-886, November.
  15. Shorrocks, Anthony F & Foster, James E, 1987. "Transfer Sensitive Inequality Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 485-97, July.
  16. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
  17. Christian Gollier, 2004. "The Economics of Risk and Time," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572249, June.
  18. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  19. Ekern, Steinar, 1980. "Increasing Nth degree risk," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 329-333.
  20. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1987. "Proper Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 143-54, January.
  21. 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.
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