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Risk Aversion, Prudence and Temperance : A Unified Approach

  • EECKHOUDT, Louis
  • Christian GOLLIER
  • Thierry SCHNEIDER

Risk aversion can be defined either by the negative sign of the second derivative of the utility function or by the rejection of any mean-preserving increase in risk. The more recent notions of prudence and temperance have so far been defined exclusively by the sign of the third and the fourth derivative of the utility function. In this paper we show that, as risk aversion, prudence and temperance can also be interpreted as systematic attitudes towards transformation of a density function.

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Paper provided by Risk and Insurance Archive in its series Working Papers with number 006.

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Date of creation: Jul 1994
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Handle: RePEc:wop:riskar:006
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  1. Ormiston, Michael B. & Schlee, Edward E., 1992. "Necessary conditions for comparative statics under uncertainty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 429-434, December.
  2. EECKHOUDT, Louis & Christian GOLLIER & Harris SCHLESINGER, 1994. "Changes in Background Risk and Risk Taking Behavior," Working Papers 005, Risk and Insurance Archive.
  3. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
  4. Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Standard Risk Aversion," NBER Technical Working Papers 0099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Precautionary Motives for Holding Assets," NBER Working Papers 3586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gollier, Christian & John W. PRATT, 1993. "Weak Proper Risk Aversion And The Tempering Effect of Background Risk," Working Papers 018, Risk and Insurance Archive.
  8. Menezes, C & Geiss, C & Tressler, J, 1980. "Increasing Downside Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 921-32, December.
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