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Risk Aversion in the Small and in the Large When Outcomes Are Multidimensional

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  • Hellwig, Martin

    () (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

Abstract

The paper discusses criteria for comparing risk aversion of decision makers when outcomes are multidimensional. A weak concept, �commodity specific greater risk aversion�, is based on the comparison of risk premia paid in a specified commodity. A stronger concept, �uniformly greater risk aversion� is based on the comparison of risk premia regardless of what commodities are used for payment. Neither concept presumes that von Neumann-Morgenstern utility functions are ordinally equivalent. Nonincreasing consumption specific risk aversion is shown to be sufficient to make randomization undesirable in an agency problem with hidden characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Hellwig, Martin, 2004. "Risk Aversion in the Small and in the Large When Outcomes Are Multidimensional," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 04-22, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  • Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:04-22
    Note: Research support from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through Sonderforschungsbereich 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Matthews, Steven & Moore, John, 1987. "Monopoly Provision of Quality and Warranties: An Exploration in the Theory of Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 441-467, March.
    2. Richard E. Kihlstrom & Leonard J. Mirman, 1981. "Constant, Increasing and Decreasing Risk Aversion with Many Commodities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 271-280.
    3. Aaron S. Edlin & Chris Shannon, 1998. "Strict Single Crossing and the Strict Spence-Mirrlees Condition: A Comment on Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
    4. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, March.
    5. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
    6. Brito, Dagobert L. & Hamilton, Jonathan H. & Slutsky, Steven M. & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1995. "Randomization in optimal income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 189-223, February.
    7. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
    8. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1969. "A Note on Behavior towards Risk with Many Commodities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 262, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    9. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
    10. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    11. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Behavior Towards Risk with Many Commodities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(4), pages 660-667, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kannai, Yakar & Selden, Larry & Kang, Minwook & Wei, Xiao, 2016. "Risk neutrality regions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 75-89.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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