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On Risk Aversion, Classical Demand Theory, and KM Preferences

  • Leonard J. Mirman
  • Marc Santugini

Building on Kihlstrom and Mirman (1974)’s formulation of risk aversion in the case of multidimensional utility functions, we study the effect of risk aversion on optimal behavior in a general consumer’s maximization problem under uncertainty. We completely characterize the relationship between changes in risk aversion and classical demand theory. We show that the effect of risk aversion on optimal behavior depends on the income and substitution effects. Moreover, the effect of risk aversion is determined not by the riskiness of the risky good, but rather the riskiness of the utility gamble associated with each decision.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1132.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1132
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  1. David M Kreps & Evan L Porteus, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000009, David K. Levine.
  2. Kraus, Marvin, 1979. "A comparative statics theorem for choice under risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 510-517, December.
  3. Le Grand, François & Chassagnon, Arnold & Bommier, Antoine, 2012. "Comparative Risk Aversion: A Formal Approach with Applications to Saving Behaviors," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4434, Paris Dauphine University.
  4. Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "Some Stronger Measures of Risk Aversion in the Small and the Large with Applications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 621-38, May.
  5. Katz, Eliakim, 1981. "A note on a comparative statics theorem for choice under risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 318-319, October.
  6. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
  7. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  8. Diamond, Peter A. & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1974. "Increases in risk and in risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 337-360, July.
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