IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On the utility representation of asymmetric single-peaked preferences


  • Francisco Martinez Mora


  • M. Socorro Puy



We introduce two natural types of asymmetric single-peaked preferences, which we name biased-above and biased-below, depending on whether the asymmetry (or preference-bias) favors alternatives above or below the peak. We a rich family of utility functions, the generalized distance-metric utility functions, that can represent preferences biased-above or biased-below, besides accommodating any degree of asymmetry. We also identify restrictions on differentiable utility representations that guarantee the underlying preferences to be biased-above or below, and allow to compare degrees of asymmetry. Finally, we consider a specific application -agents preferences over government size- to illustrate the role of factors such as risk aversion and tax distortions in shaping asymmetric preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco Martinez Mora & M. Socorro Puy, 2011. "On the utility representation of asymmetric single-peaked preferences," Discussion Papers in Economics 11/18, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Jul 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:11/18

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J, 2003. " Inflation Targeting under Asymmetric Preferences," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(5), pages 763-785, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Single-peaked preferences; asymmetric preferences; quadratic preferences; risk aversion; prudence;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:11/18. 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: (Mrs. Alexandra Mazzuoccolo). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.