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Christian Gollier

Christian Gollier is Professor of Economics at the University of Toulouse.

Titles by This Author

This book updates and advances the theory of expected utility as applied to risk analysis and financial decision making. Von Neumann and Morgenstern pioneered the use of expected utility theory in the 1940s, but most utility functions used in financial management are still relatively simplistic and assume a mean-variance world. Taking into account recent advances in the economics of risk and uncertainty, this book focuses on richer applications of expected utility in finance, macroeconomics, and environmental economics.

The book covers these topics: expected utility theory and related concepts; the standard portfolio problem of choice under uncertainty involving two different assets; P the basic hyperplane separation theorem and log-supermodular functions as technical tools for solving various decision-making problems under uncertainty; s choice involving multiple risks; the Arrow-Debreu portfolio problem; consumption and saving; the equilibrium price of risk and time in an Arrow-Debreu economy; and dynamic models of decision making when a flow of information on future risks is expected over time. The book is appropriate for both students and professionals. Concepts are presented intuitively as well as formally, and the theory is balanced by empirical considerations. Each chapter concludes with a problem set.

Titles by This Editor

Governments around the world are deeply divided about the proper role of industrial policy, with some politicians arguing for hands-off governance and others supporting government intervention to promote “national champions”-- firms that receive government support for both political and economic reasons. In this volume, prominent economists present the pros and cons of government support for national champions. The contributors use the rigor of economic models in their studies, offering a quantitative perspective that complements and extends existing qualitative studies, and focus on issues emerging from the European Union’s substantial degree of market integration.
Many arguments in favor of champions-promoting policies are made in a dynamic context, so the book first presents chapters that take a dynamic economy view, then presents chapters that examine the political economy of the decision process, and finally, offers “classical” static equilibrium arguments. The richness of the different models provides a deeper understanding of industrial policy than could any model alone. What becomes clear from these different perspectives nevertheless is that it is difficult to make a general case in favor of policies promoting national champions on purely economic grounds and that these policies are best understood in political terms.

Theory and Policy Implications

Risk sharing is a cornerstone of modern economies. It is valuable to risk-averse consumers and essential for investment and entrepreneurs. The standard economic model of risk exchange predicts that competition in insurance markets will result in all individual risks being insured—that all diversifiable risks in the economy will be covered through mutual risk-sharing arrangements—but in practice this is not the case. Many diversifiable risks are still borne by individuals; many environmental, catastrophic, and technological risks are not covered by insurance contracts. In this CESifo volume, leading international economists provide new insights on recent developments in the economic analysis of the limits of insurability. They find that asymmetric information is a central reason why competition in insurance markets may fail to guarantee that mutually advantageous risk exchanges are realized in today's economies. In particular, adverse selection and moral hazard help explain why competitive insurance markets fail to provide an efficient level of insurance and hence why public intervention is required to solve the problem. The contributors offer theoretical models of insurance markets involving adverse selection as well as empirical analyses of health insurance and non-health insurance markets in countries including Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.

Luis H. B. Braido, Mark J. Browne, Pierre-André Chiappori, Georges Dionne, Irena Dushi, Roland Eisen, Lucien Gardiol, Pierre-Yves Geoffard, Christian Gouriéroux, Chantal Grandchamp, Erik Grönqvist, Luigi Guiso, Paul Kofman, Hansjörg Lehmann, Gregory P. Nini