Economic Theory

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 337–362 | Cite as

A contribution to duality theory, applied to the measurement of risk aversion

  • Juan E. Martínez-Legaz
  • John K. -H. QuahEmail author
Research Article


This paper determines the precise connection between the curvature properties of an objective function and the ray-curvature properties of its dual. When the objective function is interpreted as a Bernoulli or cardinal utility function, our results characterize the relationship between an agent’s attitude towards income risks and her attitude towards risks in the underlying consumption space. We obtain these results by developing and applying a number of representation theorems for concave functions.


Risk aversion Concavity Duality Homotheticity Cost curves 

JEL Classification Numbers

C61 D11 D81 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department d’Economia i d’Història EconòmicaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsOxford UniversityOxfordUK

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