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Does Ambiguity Aversion Raise the Optimal Level of Effort? A Two-Period Model

  • Loïc Berger

I consider two-period self-insurance and self-protection models in the presence of ambiguity that either affects the loss or the probabilities, and analyze the effect of ambiguity aversion. I show that in most common situations, ambiguity prudence is a sufficient condition to observe an increase in the level of effort. I proposes an interpretation of the model in the context of climate change, such that self-insurance and self-protection are respectively seen as adaptation and mitigation efforts a policymaker should provide to deal with an uncertain catastrophic event, and interpret the results obtained as an expression of the Precautionary Principle.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers ECARES with number ECARES 2011-021.

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Length: 35 p.
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/95854
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  1. LANGE Andreas & TREICH Nicolas, 2007. "Uncertainty, Learning and Ambiguity in Economic Models on Climate Policy: Some Classical Results and New Directions," LERNA Working Papers 07.16.237, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  2. Sujoy Mukerji & Peter Klibanoff, 2002. "A Smooth Model of Decision,Making Under Ambiguity," Economics Series Working Papers 113, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gollier, Christian & Jullien, Bruno & Treich, Nicolas, 2000. "Scientific progress and irreversibility: an economic interpretation of the 'Precautionary Principle'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 229-253, February.
  5. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  6. DIONNE, George & EECKHOUDT, Louis, . "Self-insurance, self-protection and increased risk aversion," CORE Discussion Papers RP 623, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. McGuire, Martin C & Pratt, John & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1991. " Paying to Improve Your Chances: Gambling or Insurance?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 329-38, December.
  8. L. Eeckhoudt & C. Gollier, 2005. "The impact of prudence on optimal prevention," Post-Print hal-00199781, HAL.
  9. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2006. "Recursive Smooth Ambiguity Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 17, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2008.
  10. Einhorn, Hillel J & Hogarth, Robin M, 1986. "Decision Making under Ambiguity," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S225-50, October.
  11. Dachraoui, K. & Dionne, G. & Eeckhoudt, L. & Godfroid, P., 2000. "Comparative Mixed Risk Aversion," Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales de Montreal- 00-10, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales de Montreal-Chaire de gestion des risques..
  12. Ehrlich, Isaac & Becker, Gary S, 1972. "Market Insurance, Self-Insurance, and Self-Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 623-48, July-Aug..
  13. Gierlinger, Johannes & Gollier, Christian, 2008. "Socially Efficient Discounting under Ambiguity Aversion," IDEI Working Papers 561, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  14. Jullien, B. & Salanie, B. & Salanie, F., 1998. "Should More Risk-Averse Agents Exert More Effort?," Papers 98.489, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
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