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

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  • Loïc Berger

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Loïc Berger, 2011. "Does Ambiguity Aversion Raise the Optimal Level of Effort? A Two-Period Model," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2011-021, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/95854
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gierlinger, Johannes & Gollier, Christian, 2008. "Socially Efficient Discounting under Ambiguity Aversion," IDEI Working Papers 561, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
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    3. Bruno Jullien & Bernard Salanié & François Salanié, 1999. "Should More Risk-Averse Agents Exert More Effort?," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 24(1), pages 19-28, June.
    4. Klibanoff, Peter & Marinacci, Massimo & Mukerji, Sujoy, 2009. "Recursive smooth ambiguity preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 930-976, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Dionne, Georges & Eeckhoudt, Louis, 1985. "Self-insurance, self-protection and increased risk aversion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 39-42.
    7. 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.
    8. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    9. 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..
    10. 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 623-648, July-Aug..
    11. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2005. "A Smooth Model of Decision Making under Ambiguity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1849-1892, November.
    12. 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 329-338, December.
    13. Einhorn, Hillel J & Hogarth, Robin M, 1986. "Decision Making under Ambiguity," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 225-250, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Loïc Berger, 2011. "Smooth Ambiguity Aversion in the Small and in the Large," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2011-020, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Heuson, Clemens & Gawel, Erik & Gebhardt, Oliver & Hansjürgens, Bernd & Lehmann, Paul & Meyer, Volker & Schwarze, Reimund, 2012. "Fundamental questions on the economics of climate adaptation: Outlines of a new research programme," UFZ Reports 05/2012, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).
    3. Heuson, Clemens & Gawel, Erik & Gebhardt, Oliver & Hansjürgens, Bernd & Lehmann, Paul & Meyer, Volker & Schwarze, Reimund, 2012. "Ökonomische Grundfragen der Klimaanpassung: Umrisse eines neuen Forschungsprogramms," UFZ Reports 02/2012, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    non-expected utility; self-protection; self-insurance; ambiguity prudence; precautionary principle;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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