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Comparative Risk Aversion: A Formal Approach with Applications to Saving Behaviors

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Abstract

We consider a formal approach to comparative risk aversion and applies it to intertemporal choice models. This allows us to ask whether standard classes of utility functions, such as those inspired by Kihlstrom and Mirman [15], Selden [26], Epstein and Zin [9] and Quiggin [24] are well-ordered in terms of risk aversion. Moreover, opting for this model-free approach allows us to establish new general results on the impact of risk aversion on savings behaviors. In particular, we show that risk aversion enhances precautionary savings, clarifying the link that exists between the notions of prudence and risk aversion.

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  • Antoine Bommier & Arnold Chassagnon & François Le Grand, 2010. "Comparative Risk Aversion: A Formal Approach with Applications to Saving Behaviors," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 10/134, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:10-134
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    2. Chateauneuf, Alain & Cohen, Michele & Meilijson, Isaac, 2004. "Four notions of mean-preserving increase in risk, risk attitudes and applications to the rank-dependent expected utility model," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 547-571, August.
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    6. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2002. "Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 251-289, February.
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    8. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
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    11. Grant, Simon & Quiggin, John, 2005. "Increasing uncertainty: a definition," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 117-141, March.
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    1. repec:kap:theord:v:84:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11238-017-9636-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Leonard Mirman & Marc Santugini, 2014. "On risk aversion, classical demand theory, and KM preferences," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 51-66, February.
    3. Gajdos, Thibault & Weymark, John A., 2012. "Introduction to inequality and risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1313-1330.
    4. Svenja Hector, 2013. "Accounting for Different Uncertainties: Implications for Climate Investments?," Working Papers 2013.107, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    5. Heufer, Jan, 2014. "Nonparametric comparative revealed risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 569-616.
    6. Jonathan Benchimol, 2012. "Risk Aversion in the Euro area," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00713669, HAL.
    7. Antoine Bommier & Francois Le Grand, "undated". "A Robust Approach to Risk Aversion," Working Papers ETH-RC-13-002, ETH Zurich, Chair of Systems Design.
    8. Antoine Bommier & François Grand, 2014. "Too risk averse to purchase insurance?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 135-166, April.
    9. Antoine Bommier, 2013. "Life-Cycle Preferences Revisited," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(6), pages 1290-1319, December.
    10. repec:eee:matsoc:v:87:y:2017:i:c:p:94-102 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:spr:etbull:v:3:y:2015:i:2:d:10.1007_s40505-014-0058-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. A. Mantovi, 2013. "Mapping completely proper rationality," Economics Department Working Papers 2013-EP01, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
    13. Svenja Hector(), "undated". "Accounting for Different Uncertainties: Implications for Climate Investments?," Working Papers ETH-RC-13-007, ETH Zurich, Chair of Systems Design.
    14. Jean Baccelli, 2016. "L'analyse axiomatique et l'attitude par rapport au risque," Post-Print hal-01462286, HAL.
    15. Antoine Bommier, Francois Le Grand, "undated". "Too Risk Averse to Purchase Insurance? A Theoretical Glance at the Annuity Puzzle," Working Papers ETH-RC-12-002, ETH Zurich, Chair of Systems Design.
    16. Jean Baccelli, 2018. "Risk Attitudes in Axiomatic Decision Theory: a Conceptual Perspective," Post-Print hal-01620886, HAL.
    17. repec:kap:theord:v:83:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11238-016-9584-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Roberta Cardani & Alessia Paccagnini & Stefania Villa, 2015. "Forecasting in a DSGE Model with Banking Intermediation: Evidence from the US," Working Papers 292, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2015.
    19. Clemens, Christiane & Heinemann, Maik, 2015. "Endogenous growth and wealth inequality under incomplete markets and idiosyncratic risk," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 300-317.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk aversion; Savings behaviors; Precautionary savings;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • 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

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