Résumé
In economics and finance, risk aversion is the tendency of people to prefer outcomes with low uncertainty to those outcomes with high uncertainty, even if the average outcome of the latter is equal to or higher in monetary value than the more certain outcome. Risk aversion explains the inclination to agree to a situation with a more predictable, but possibly lower payoff, rather than another situation with a highly unpredictable, but possibly higher payoff. For example, a risk-averse investor might choose to put their money into a bank account with a low but guaranteed interest rate, rather than into a stock that may have high expected returns, but also involves a chance of losing value. A person is given the choice between two scenarios: one with a guaranteed payoff, and one with a risky payoff with same average value. In the former scenario, the person receives 50.Intheuncertainscenario,acoinisflippedtodecidewhetherthepersonreceives50. In the uncertain scenario, a coin is flipped to decide whether the person receives 100 or nothing. The expected payoff for both scenarios is 50,meaningthatanindividualwhowasinsensitivetoriskwouldnotcarewhethertheytooktheguaranteedpaymentorthegamble.However,individualsmayhavedifferentriskattitudes.Apersonissaidtobe:riskaverse(orriskavoiding)iftheywouldacceptacertainpayment(certaintyequivalent)oflessthan50, meaning that an individual who was insensitive to risk would not care whether they took the guaranteed payment or the gamble. However, individuals may have different risk attitudes. A person is said to be: risk averse (or risk avoiding) - if they would accept a certain payment (certainty equivalent) of less than 50 (for example, 40),ratherthantakingthegambleandpossiblyreceivingnothing.riskneutraliftheyareindifferentbetweenthebetandacertain40), rather than taking the gamble and possibly receiving nothing. risk neutral – if they are indifferent between the bet and a certain 50 payment. risk loving (or risk seeking) – if they would accept the bet even when the guaranteed payment is more than 50(forexample,50 (for example, 60). The average payoff of the gamble, known as its expected value, is $50. The smallest dollar amount that an individual would be indifferent to spending on a gamble or guarantee is called the certainty equivalent, which is also used as a measure of risk aversion. An individual that is risk averse has a certainty equivalent that is smaller than the prediction of uncertain gains.
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