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Questions tagged [utility]

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

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1answer
5k views

Leontief preferences

I can solve most utility maximization problems using my mathematical knowledge .... but not when it comes to Leontief preferences. I do not have a book to lean on (am self-studying), so would really ...
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188 views

Generalized KPR: Frisch Elasticity

Consider the following version of KPR preferences (with $l$ being leisure): $$ U(c,l) = \left(\left(c\right)^\gamma l^\omega\right)^{1-\sigma}$$ I'm after the Frisch elasticity: $$ \frac{\partial(1-...
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217 views

King-Plosser-Rebello Preferences: Scale leisure

KPR preferences are given by $$ U(c, l) = \frac{\left(cv(l)\right)^{1-\sigma}-1}{1-\sigma}$$ with concave increasing $v$ and $c$, $l$ denoting consumption and leisure. In the limiting case of $\...
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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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intertemporal utility function usage : calculating consumption

I have encountered this a lot in my exams and can not seem to understand how to use these functions here is an easy exemple : A consumer who will only live 2 periods receives 1000€ in the first ...
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1answer
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Shopping example in Kőszegi / Rabin (2006)

In "Section IV Shopping" of Kőszegi / Rabin (A model of reference-dependent preferences, QJE 2006), the example of consumer buying a pair of shoes is given. They claim that "her disutility from ...
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438 views

Modern Portfolio Theory Vs Marginal Utility Theory

I'm currently trying to wrap my head around modern portfolio theory and would love a simple explanation on how it differs from a marginal utility model (if at all). As I am understanding it, MPT ...
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Question about the Ellsberg Paradox in Expected Utility Theory

The von Neumann-Morgenstern theorem states that, assuming a person's preferences under risk satisfy certain rationality axioms, then there exists a utility function u, the von Neumann utility function,...
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Indifference curves and preferences?

I am going through some micro concepts and I am confused, is there a difference between deriving preferences through indifference curves and actual preferences of the consumers? The question I was ...
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1k views

Does risk aversion cause diminishing marginal utility, or vice versa?

Let $A$ be the set of possible states of the world, or possible preferences a person could have. Let $G(A)$ be the set of "gambles" or "lotteries", i.e. the set of probability distributions over $A$. ...
3
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1answer
259 views

Microeconomic foundation of discrete choice model

(1) Does the following result in a "valid" (in the sense of being consistent with the economic theory) market demand function? A consumer $i$ maximizes a utility $u_{ij}$ in choosing one of J ...
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1answer
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Intertemporal utility maximization through consumption

I need help in solving this question from one of the entrance examination. Q.Consider an economy where a representitive agent lives for three periods. In the first period, she is young - this is the ...
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1answer
639 views

Non-Constant Elasticity of Substitution

What's the literature on Non-Constant elasticities of substitution? Say, I'm interested in the elasticity between $c_1$ and $c_2$ increasing/decreasing in income/wealth. CES utility functions with ...
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805 views

When treating a relative, normalized utility function as a pmf, what is the interpretation of Shannon entropy or Shannon information?

Suppose $\Omega$ is a set of mutually exclusive outcomes of a discrete random variable and $f$ is a utility function where $0 < f(\omega) \leq 1$, $\sum_\Omega f(\omega) = 1$, etc. When $f$ is ...
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1answer
382 views

mean variance utility function for risk loving person

Let $X$ denote wealth. The mean variance utility for a risk-averse person is given by $E(X)-\frac{r}{2}Var(X)$ where $r$ is degree of risk-version. $r=0$ implies that person is risk-neutral. How does ...
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Indirect utility from expenditure function

I have the expenditure function: $$e(p,u)=\left(p_1^{\rho/{\rho-1}}+p_2^{\rho/{\rho-1}}\right)^{{\rho-1}/\rho}u$$ where $u$ is the utility, $p_1,p_2$ prices and $\rho$ a parameter. How do I derive the ...
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Can A Utility Function Take On Negative Values?

Can someone provide a rigorous definition of a utility function? I had thought that a utility function only needs to the preserve the order of preferences. Thus a utility function can take on negative ...
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1answer
53 views

From single-consumer-multi-units to multiple-consumers-single-unit

When I took a course in consumer theory, the economy always had a single consumer, represented by a monotone positive utility function $u(x,y)$ and an income $I$. Given prices $p_x$ and $p_y$, it is ...
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Gross substitutes vs. net substitutes

Wikipedia explains the difference between products that are "gross substitutes" and products that are "net substitutes". However, the mathematical explanation doesn't give much intuition about these ...
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515 views

Why are we taking the logarithm for risk-averse decision-makers?

I'm a mathematics student learning a bit of Game theory. Many examples are given within a very economic setting and up to know I could follow most of it because they were very basic and I learnt some ...
5
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1answer
246 views

Fantasy football

I have an idea for a fantasy football experiment looking at three different areas of the draft. These three areas are the position of each pick and how often and what value are trades. I have dug ...
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Quasilinear Utility Functions

We know if the utility function is quasilinear (QL) w.r.t good 1, then the demand for other goods is independent of income (no income effect for goods $(2,\dots, N)$). But is the reverse implication ...
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What is an example of a utility function where one good is inferior?

Say the consumer has a standard convex, monotonic preference over Apples and Bananas. (Update: I'd like the preference to be as 'standard' as possible. So ideally we have diminishing MRS everywhere ...
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1answer
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Question about constant relative risk aversion

The question: Consider a person with constant relative risk aversion $p$. (a) Suppose the person has wealth of $100,000$ and faces a gamble in which he wins or loses $x$ with equal probabilities. ...
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Optimization of Households' utility in “ Rule-of-Thumb Consumers and the Design of Interest Rate Rules ” (Gali et al., 2004)

I can't figure out how the calculation of first order conditions was carried out. I can't figure out where the stochastic discount factor came from.
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Intuition behind risk premium

In Lecture 20 of MIT's Microeconomics course, a situation is proposed where a 50/50 bet will either result in losing \$100 or gaining \$125 with a starting wealth of \$100. It is stated that a person ...
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Current knowledge about the empirics of consumer theory

I would like to get up to speed on the current state of empirical work done to test the assumptions and predictions of consumer theory (think Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 6 of Mas-Colell et al.). Can anyone ...
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2answers
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Cobb-Douglas and Logarithm Utility Functions

Suppose I have a consumer with a utility function $U(x,y) = x^\alpha y ^{1-\alpha} $ where $a \in (0,1)$. Suppose this consumer has wealth $w$ and the prices for $x$ and $y$ are $p_x$ and $p_y$ ...
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1answer
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Finding demand function given a utility min(x,y) function

I am confused about a particular point regarding finding a demand function. All the problems in this practice set I am doing have involved applying the method of Lagrangian multipliers. But I am ...
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5answers
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Help understanding Lagrangian multipliers?

I am trying to understand Lagrangian multipliers and using an example problem I found online. Problem Set Up: Consider a consumer with utility function $u(x,y) = x^{\alpha} y^{1-\alpha}$, where $\...
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2answers
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Difference between 'surplus' and 'welfare'

I see these two terms used interchangeably but I have the feeling they are not exactly the same. My gut feeling tells me this: 1) Surplus is the additional aggregate utility from the existence of one ...
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1answer
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How is labor disutility modeled in Arrow-Debreu model?

In DSGE models, utility function contains labor disutility components. But I cannot not see how labor disutility is incorporated in Arrow-Debreu-Mackenzie model.
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Is special case of utility function in “Intertemporal Substitution in Macroeconomics” also a special case of a Ramsey growth model utility function?

So in RBC and Ramsey-derived utility function, the following is usually the form of utility: $$u(c,l) = c^{1-\sigma}(1 + \omega(l))$$ where $\omega(l)$ is arbitrary function of $l$, labor, that ...
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Why is CRRA utility often used in macroeconomics DSGE model?

As title says, why is CRRA utility often used in macroeconomics DSGE model? That is, the form of $$u(c_t) = \frac{c_t^{1-\sigma}}{1-\sigma}$$ I cannot find any theoretical background around this........
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2answers
11k views

The relationship between the expenditure function and many others!

I dont understand the relationships between Hicksian demand, walrasian demand (marshallian), the expenditure function and the indirect utility function (including the value function V(b)). I have ...
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1answer
535 views

Is it possible to derive indifference curves given marshallian demand function?

In a two good world, will a marshallian demand function the likes of D(p,m) where p is the price of one good and m the income yield a utility function or ...
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Empirical estimates of CRRA and CARA utility

I am working on macroeconomic model and I need to calibrate it. I am looking primarily for a statistically-founded estimate for the coefficient of relative risk aversion in the CRRA utility function ...
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2answers
857 views

Is risk aversion bounded in CRRA utility?

For instance, Cagetti (2003) estimates ρ > 2 by targeting the median wealth of households, Gourinchas and Parker (2002) find ρ < 2 by targeting the mean consumption of households, Chetty (2006), ...
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940 views

When can one safely talk about decreasing marginal utility?

One thing I hear a lot is talk of decreasing marginal utility—the idea being that additional units of a good become progressively less attractive the more units of that good one has already. However, ...
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Utility and the tyranny of a minority

Follow on to this question. Using similar constraints: The constraints regarding the system I'm modeling are (and looking for a general solution to): Marginal Utility for every unit of a ...
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5answers
757 views

Are there Utility Monsters in Economics?

Economics, especially in the modern school is broadly influenced by the utilitarian concept of utility. More so since the labor theory of value has been broadly replaced by the theory of marginal ...