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Risk Aversion, Inequality Aversion and Optimal Choice of Distributions


  • Fraser, Clive D


This paper considers explicitly costly choice between mean-preserving distributions and a random variable. First, we extend a theorem of Diamond-Rothchild-Stiglitz to our environment. We then apply the result to risk and inequality analysis. W.r.t the former, we generalise Ehrlich and Becker's seminal analysis of self-protection. W.r.t the latter, we establish a sufficient condition for lump-sum-tax-financed and proportional tax-financed expenditure upon reducing inequality in pre-tax income or abilities to increase with society's absolute inequality aversion. This requires everyone's relative inequality aversion to lie within the interval [1,2]. We draw upon empirical evidence to show : Norway may satisfy this requirement ; the U.S. may not. Additionally, we examine the impact of variations in national income upon proportional tax-financed inequality reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • Fraser, Clive D, 1983. "Risk Aversion, Inequality Aversion and Optimal Choice of Distributions," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 245, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:245

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    1. Wilson, Charles A, 1979. "Anticipated Shocks and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(3), pages 639-647, June.
    2. Brock, William A., 1975. "A simple perfect foresight monetary model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 133-150, April.
    3. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-325, August.
    4. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-1311, July.
    5. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley, 1980. "Exchange Rates and the Current Account," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 960-971, December.
    6. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1976. "Expectations and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1161-1176, December.
    7. Flood, Robert P & Garber, Peter M, 1980. "Market Fundamentals versus Price-Level Bubbles: The First Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(4), pages 745-770, August.
    8. Olivier Jean Blanchard, 1980. "The Monetary Mechanism in the Light of Rational Expectations," NBER Chapters,in: Rational Expectations and Economic Policy, pages 75-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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