101A_problemset3 - Econ 101A Problem Set 3 Due in class on...

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Econ 101A — Problem Set 3 Due in class on Th 12 March. No late Problem Sets accepted, sorry! This Problem set tests the knowledge that you accumulated mainly in lectures 10 to 13, but it builds on the work of the previous weeks. It is focused on choice under uncertainy and time-inconsistency. General rules for problem sets: show your work, write down the steps that you use to get a solution (no credit for right solutions without explanation), write legibly. If you cannot solve a problem fully, write down a partial solution. We give partial credit for partial solutions that are correct. Do not forget to write your name on the problem set! Problem 1. Relative and Absolute Risk aversion (6 points) In class we introduced the concepts of relative and absolute risk aversion, but we have not used them. This exercise introduces you to two useful classes of utility functions. 1. Consider the exponential utiliy function exp ( ρc ) . Show that it is increasing ( u 0 > 0) and concave ( u 00 < 0) for all c as long as ρ> 0 , that is, as long as the agent is risk-averse. Show that this function has constant absolute risk aversion coe cient r A given by ρ. (2 points) 2. Consider the power utiliy function c 1 ρ 1 ρ for ρ 6 =1 . Show that it is increasing ( u 0 > 0) and concave ( u 00 < 0) for all c> 0 as long as ρ> 0 . Show that this function has constant relative risk aversion coe cient r R given by ρ. (2 points) 3. Consider the log utility function ln ( c ) . Show that it is increasing ( u 0 > 0) and concave ( u 00 < 0) for all c> 0 . Show that this function has constant relative risk aversion coe cient r R equal to 1 . (in fact, it is possibile to show lim ρ 1 c 1 ρ 1 1 ρ =ln( c ) — you are not required to prove this) (2 points). Problem 2. Investment in Risky Asset (26 points) We consider here a standard problem of in- vestment in risky assets, similar to the one that we covered in class. The agent can invest in bonds or stocks. Bonds have a return r> 0 . (in class we asumed r =0 ) Stocks have a stochastic return, r + >r with probability p, and r <r with probability 1 p. In expectations, the stocks outperform bonds, that is, pr + +(1 p ) r >r . The agent has income w and utility function u, with u 0 ( x ) > 0 and u 00 ( x ) < 0 for all x . The agents wants to decide the optimal share α of his wealth to invest in stocks. The agent maximizes max α (1 p ) u ( w [(1 α )(1+ r )+ α (1 + r )]) + + pu ( w [(1 α )(1+
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This note was uploaded on 09/05/2009 for the course ECON 101a taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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101A_problemset3 - Econ 101A Problem Set 3 Due in class on...

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