, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 139-166

Discount-neutral utility models for denumerable time streams

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Abstract

This paper formulates and axiomatizes utility models for denumerable time streams that make no commitment in regard to discounting future outcomes. The models address decision under certainty and decision under risk. Independence assumptions in both contexts lead to additive or multiplicative utilities over time periods that allow unambiguous comparisons of the relative importance of different periods. The models accommodate all patterns of future valuation. This discount-neutral feature is attained by restricting preference comparisons to outcome streams or probability distributions on outcome streams that differ in at most a finite number of periods.