An Alternative Explanation for the Variation in Reported Estimates of Risk Aversion
There is a large literature estimating Arrow-Pratt coefficients of absolute and relative risk aversion. A striking feature of this literature is the very wide variation in the reported estimates of the coefficients. While there are often legitimate reasons for these differences in the estimates, there is another source of variation that has not been considered to date. The Arrow-Pratt coefficients are properties of the utility functions, but a number of estimates are obtained by equating these to risk aversion measures defined in a mean-variance framework. This paper shows that while the legitimacy of the mean-variance approach may hold under general conditions the additional assumptions invoked when estimating the risk aversion parameter hold only in very restricted circumstances and that serious under or over estimation can easily arise as a result.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2012|
|Publication status:||published in: Journal of Risk, 2013, 15 (4), 91-102|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Friend, Irwin & Blume, Marshall E, 1975. "The Demand for Risky Assets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 900-922, December.
- Thomas Flavin, 2006.
"How risk averse are fund managers? Evidence from Irish mutual funds,"
Applied Financial Economics,
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(18), pages 1355-1363.
- Thomas J. Flavin, 2006. "How Risk Averse are Fund Managers? Evidence from Irish Mutual Funds," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n1630206, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
- Charles Engel & Anthony P. Rodrigues, 1987.
"Tests of International CAPM with Time-Varying Covariances,"
NBER Working Papers
2303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Engel, Charles & Rodrigues, Anthony P, 1989. "Tests of International CAPM with Time-Varying Covariances," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(2), pages 119-138, April-Jun.
- Donald Meyer & Jack Meyer, 2005. "Relative Risk Aversion: What Do We Know?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 243-262, December.
- M. S. Feldstein, 1969. "Mean-Variance Analysis in the Theory of Liquidity Preference and Portfolio Selection," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 5-12.
- Levy, H & Markowtiz, H M, 1979. "Approximating Expected Utility by a Function of Mean and Variance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 308-317, June.
- Robert B. Barsky & F. Thomas Juster & Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-579.
- Meyer, Jack, 1987. "Two-moment Decision Models and Expected Utility Maximization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 421-430, June.
- Salem, A B Z & Mount, T D, 1974. "A Convenient Descriptive Model of Income Distribution: The Gamma Density," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(6), pages 1115-1127, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6877. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.