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Bounding the CRRA Utility Functions

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  • Richard M. H. Suen

    (Department of Economics, University of California Riverside)

Abstract

The constant-relative-risk-aversion (CRRA) utility function is now predominantly used in quantitative macroeconomic studies. This function, however, is not bounded and thus creates problems when applying the standard tools of dynamic programming. This paper devises a method for "bounding" the CRRA utility functions. The proposed method is based on a set of conditions that can establish boundedness among a broad class of utility functions. These results are then used to construct a bounded utility function that is identical to a CRRA utility function except when consumption is very small or very large. It is shown that the constructed utility function also satisfies the Inada condition and is consistent with balanced growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard M. H. Suen, 2009. "Bounding the CRRA Utility Functions," Working Papers 200902, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucr:wpaper:200902
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Utility Function; Elasticity of Marginal Utility; Boundedness;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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