For the CRRA utility function (Equation 7.42), we showed that the degree of risk aversion is measured by 1 –R. In Chapter 3 we showed that the elasticity of substitution for the same function is given by 1/(1 –R). Hence the measures are reciprocals of each other. Using this result, discuss the following questions. a. Why is risk aversion related to an individual’s willingness to substitute wealth between states of the world? What phenomenon is being captured by both concepts? b. How would you interpret the polar cases R=1 and R=–∞ in both the risk-aversion and substitution frameworks? c. A rise in the price of contingent claims in ‘bad’ times (pb) will induce substitution and income effects into the demands for Wg and Wb. If the individual has a fixed budget to devote to these two goods, how will choices among them be affected? Why might Wg rise or fall depending on the degree of risk aversion exhibited by the individual? d. Suppose that empirical data suggest an individual requires an average return of 0.5 per cent before being tempted to invest in an investment that has a 50–50 chance of gaining or losing 5 per cent. That is, this person gets the same utility from W0as from an even bet on 1.055 W0 and 0.955 W0. (1) What value of R is consistent with this behaviour?(2) How much average return would this person require to accept a 50–50 chance of gaining or losing 10 per cent?
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