Questions tagged [utility]

Utility, or usefulness, is the (perceived) ability of something to satisfy needs or wants.

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How do I compute the relative risk aversion of Epstein-Zin preferences?

$$ \newcommand{\E}{\mathbb{E}} $$ Preface This question is related to this one about the elasticity of intertemporal substitution and this one about the definition of absolute risk aversion. (It's ...
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63 views

utility maximization with nested Cobb–Douglas–CES preferences

I'm trying to understand the following paper: Hsieh & Ossa: A global view of productivity growth in China (2016). The pdf can be found here: https://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/chang-tai.hsieh/...
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Segal (2000) question about utility opportunity set

I am reading a JPE paper "Let's agree all dictatorship are equally bad" from Uzi Segal (2000). I have a small problem with this paper. We have the following Utility Opportunity Set (UOS): $$ S(w)=\{...
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259 views

What is the proper term for the “meta-value” of an object?

For instance, say I have a roll of quarters and a roll of dimes. I can use the dimes and quarters in a parking meter, but 50 cents in dimes gets me less time than 50 cents in quarters. Additionally, I ...
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1answer
44 views

Easterlin hypothesis

In my understanding, the seminal contribution of Easterlin (1974) showed that within a single cross section, both within and across countries, happiness correlates positively with income. However, ...
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29 views

Is there any evidence for consumer utility-maximising behaviour, at individual or market level?

Even though utility maximisation is ubiquitous in economic textbooks to model consumer behaviour, its usefulness is rarely demonstrated by evidence. Is there any evidence that some consumers do ...
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60 views

Mean Variance Optimization in a Utility Maximization Framework

I'm struggling to gain a broad understanding of Mean-Variance utility theory as it relates to finding the efficient frontier of a group of assets which each have some return and variance. The typical ...
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74 views

Fixes of quadratic utility when probability of decreasing utility is large

In finance and specifically portfolio theory, a popular utility function is quadratic utility $$ u(x)=x-\frac{\lambda}{2}(x-\mu_x)^2 $$ where $x$ is wealth and $\lambda$ is the parameter of risk ...
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59 views

Log-linearizing a non-separable utility function around the steady state

I've started reading Jordi Galí's Monetary Policy, Inflation and the Business Cycle (2nd ed., 2015). In section 2.5.2, Galí considers an example with the following non-separable period utility ...
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78 views

Linear Homothetic Utility

A Homothetic Utility is where $$ \forall x,y, \forall a \in \mathbb{R}_+: \ u(ax,ay)=au(x,y) $$ (or its monotonic transformation). A linear Homothetic utility is defined as $$ \forall x,y, \forall ...
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119 views

What is the difference between the discrete choice method and the generalised cost method in transport planning?

I have been using the generalised cost method in an agent based model. The generalised cost method enables each individual agent to make a decision on what mode of transport it will take given a range ...
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44 views

Utility theory or decision theory based on partial semiorders?

Roubens, Vincke & Pirlot have summarized and extended representation theorems for partial semiorders in the 80s and 90s. See e.g. Roubens, M. & Vincke, P.: Preference Modelling. Springer, 1985....
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Calculating price in a pure exchange economy

The problem is simple, I'm not really sure of my answer though. Consider an economy where there are two consumers and two goods: $$U_1(x_{11}, x_{21}) = x_{11}$$ $$U_2(x_{12}, x_{22}) = x_{22}$$ $...
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1answer
101 views

Can be the duality theorem applied to not locally non-satiated utility functions?

I have the following not locally non-satiated utility function: $$U(x,y)=-(x-1)^2-(y-2)^2$$ where $U(x,y): \, \!R^n_+ \rightarrow \!R $ The 3D plot of this function is an infinite paraboloid; ...
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utility from providing public good as explained in Hindriks textbook

I think I understood the highlighted part: basically, by increasing $g^1$ my utility increases because more public good is being provided but at the same time it decreases because I have less money to ...
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34 views

Demand equation with demographics

I am trying to reconcile the derivation of a demand equation with what I actually run in an OLS model. After solving $$max_{x_1,x_2}U(x_1,x_2)= \alpha ln(x_1) + \beta ln(x_2)$$ subject to $$p_1x_1+...
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Finding savings in an Overlapping Generations model

I have not seen this question asked anywhere, so I'm posing it here in case anybody else (hopefully) can help me get to the answer. In a nutshell, my question is: how do we arrive at the saving ...
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248 views

Fisher Separation with negative interest rate

In class we discussed Fisher Separation which states that the investment decision is independent of the financing decision. The optimality conditions are that MRS = MRT = (1+i) (i = interest rate). ...
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454 views

What is the difference between utility function and characteristic function

I read that normative theories such as social welfare and game theory have as tasks computing the peoples' (average) utility function in the first case, and the characteristic function in cooperative ...
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Becker Social Pricing and Lack of Smooth Demand

I was reading an article on Becker Social Pricing, where your demand for a good depends on other people's demand for the good. So basically this paper is meant to be a primer into explaining why some ...
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237 views

Optimizing Cobb-Douglas like functions

Economics isn't my home field, but I'm looking for references for a paper I'm working on and I'm hoping one of you can help. Are there many good references for optimizing a Cobb-Douglas like utility ...
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28 views

Shortcuts for elasticity of substitution

How can I find the elasticity of substitution (I know the definition) if I know the utility function $u(x,y)$? I know its increasing in $x$ and $y$, etcetera, and has everything else you want from a ...
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Determine if goods are substitutes or Complements based on demand function

So I have a consumer with a utility function of the Cobb-Douglas form $v(x_1,x_2)=x^{\frac{1}{2}}_1x^{\frac{1}{2}}_2$. From that I constructed the demand function for good 1 and good 2: $x_1=\frac{1}{...
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Does quasilinear preference contain rationality, monotonicity or other assumptions?

I have a question when I'm doing exercise 3.C.5(b) of MWG. The exercise asks to prove that a continuous preference on $(-\infty,\infty)\times R^{L-1}_+$ is quasilinear with respect to the first ...
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42 views

derive value function from utility function

We have the utility function. $$U_{t} = \ln{c_{t}} + E_{t}\sum_{s=1}^{\infty}(\beta^{s}\ln{c_{t+s}})$$ And I am trying to find the value function. $U$ is utility function. $c_t$ is consumption at ...
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51 views

What is the trade-off between? Consumption and Leisure or Income and Leisure?

When first presenting the utility function and its arguments, textbooks typically start by stating that utility is a function of consumption and leisure. See for example https://sites.hks.harvard.edu/...
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Rotation of Quasilinear Utility

Let $u(x,y)=f(x)+y$ be a quasilinear utility. Now we rotate it by 45 degrees, (such that the $x-$axis becomes the direction of $(1,1)$) $v(x,y)=f(x-y)+x+y$. Is $v$ also a quasilinear utility? What is ...
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1answer
37 views

Is anyone familiar with the following basic resource sharing model?

Here is a resource sharing model, I do not remember where I came across it, I am wondering if this is well known in econometrics. Let $T > 0$ be the total quantity of resources. For example, ad ...
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24 views

What are the definitions of the terms value, wealth, and utility in economics?

Are there any definitions for the following three terms that are widely agreed upon in economics? Value Wealth Utility In particular, are these terms identical? If not, what differentiates them? I ...
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70 views

Three consumers three goods competitive equilibrium

I have the economy described by the three consumers above with their respective preferences and endowments. I'm not so sure about how to proceed towards the competitive equilibrium...
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1answer
74 views

What is the difference between solving for utility maximization separately or aggregately?

I derived the Walrasian equilibrium for an economy of two consumers with their respective utility functions (u1, u2) and initial endowments but later on I am asked to maximize (u1+u2). Does anyone ...
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428 views

Quasi-linear Optimal Consumption Bundle

I have a question involving optimal consumption bundles for quasi-linear preferences. Utility is given by $$U(x_1,x_2) = 16\sqrt{x_1} + 2x_2$$ and $p_1 = 8, p_2 = 4, I = 30$. What I have so far ...
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3answers
121 views

What is a good way to generate realistic utility curves?

I am aiming to program a basic simulation of a simplified economy to look at the impact of various interventions. The economy will have N groups of homogeneous consumers and M producer / employer ...
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Deriving Single Good Demand Curve

came across a problem set that I had no clue how to tackle, but looks painfully simple. It's a market for electricity where households utility is represented by: U(E) = aE - 2mL2 (Household Utility) ...
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128 views

Natural borrowing/debt limit and other borrowing constraints

When confronted with the simple household consumption maximization problem under uncertainty (and with Arrow security sequential trading) $$\max_{\{c_t(s^t),a_{t+1}(s^t,s_{t+1})\}_{t=0}^{\infty}}\...
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General Equilibrium allocation holding fixed a consumer's utility

I'm having some issues with solving this general equilibrium exercise. The way I started off is by assuming that since consumer 2's utility is fixed, he will have a fixed utility function. Then ...
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104 views

What's the relation between deadweight-loss and alpha in Cobb-Douglas?

I'm studying for an exam and facing a question about the relationship between the $\alpha$ of the Cobb-Douglas function and the loss of utility of imposing taxes. If I have understood correctly, ...
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151 views

Intertemporal choice with no income flow in the second period

Question: Suppose Mr X maximises his utility for two periods, his total utility is given by log $c_1$ + $\beta$ log $c_2$ where $\beta$ $\in$ ( 0,1) and $c_1$ and $c_2$ are his consumption for ...
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44 views

Terminology for separability in price and value

Take an agent with mean-variance utility over something that is uncertain: $$ U(x) = \mu_x^\theta - \sigma_x^\lambda $$ $A\in \{0,1\}$ happens if $U(x)>0$, and $x$ is a random variable $$ A = \...
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120 views

Consumer's maximization problem

I am an undergrad trying to learn the basics of NK models (on my own) and I am having some difficulties understanding the derivation of certain equations. So we have the representative household ...
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General equilibrium allocation with “altriustic” utilities

Has any work been done on market allocations where market participants have utility functions that depend on other players' allocations? For example, suppose I have a general equilibrium model with ...
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135 views

Estimate the Utility function for the Principal-Agent problem (real case)

I have a company and I have to set the wage to my employer based on different levels of revenues. Examples W_1 if Revenue = 100k ...
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316 views

How does advertising improve the utility of a product?

In this research paper titled: Advertising Spillovers: Field-Experiment Evidence and Implications for Returns from Advertising, I come across the following ...
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Limits of utilitarianism?

In all of economics that I know, people maximize their Utility $U_i=f(x_1,...,x_n)$, and therefore make some kind of cost-benefit analysis. One obvious criticism to this model is that we often do not ...
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280 views

Creating utility function with certain properties

This is a fun little task I need help completing. Im creating a game-theoretical model for the utility a government get from labour rights (R) and FDI (F), and I need a utility function to have ...
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463 views

Utility function of a representative agent with quasilinear utility

Consider an economy with $n$ consumers with an identical utility function, which is quasilinear in $x$: $$ u_i(x,y) = x+u(y) $$ If we want to represent all consumers by a single representative ...
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References for “Capturing value”

I have seen in several places references to "capturing value". For example: Value Creation vs. Value Capture Work on Stuff that Matters: First Principles I think that such considerations are ...
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27 views

For the case of two goods, give an example of preferences that are represnted by a continuous utility function that allows for fat indifference curves

The question in the title sounds like a trick question, due to the monotonicity property that indifference curves have, such that for two goods x and y, strong monotonicity implies y > x. Possible ...
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24 views

How to prove monotonic transformation of the function and equivalence?

At the microeconomics course I have to prove monotonic transformation of the function U(x,y) = A(x^a)(y^b) into U(x,y) = (x^0.5)(y^0.5) Since the MRS are ay/bx and x/y resp. I can obviously only ...
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How to prove that the walrasian demand function $x(p,w)$ is continuous in $p$ and $w$?

If the utility function $u$ is continuous and satisfies local nonsatiation, and walrasian demand function $x(p, w)$ is a function (i.e. always map to only single values), how to prove that $x(p,w)$ is ...