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A SMOOTH AMBIGUITY MODEL OF THE COMPETITIVE FIRM

Kit Pong Wong

Bulletin of Economic Research, 2015, vol. 67, issue S1, S97-S110

Abstract: type="main"> This paper examines the optimal production decision of the competitive firm under price uncertainty when the firm's preferences exhibit smooth ambiguity aversion. Ambiguity is modeled by a second-order probability distribution that captures the firm's uncertainty about which of the subjective beliefs govern the price risk. Ambiguity preferences are modeled by the (second-order) expectation of a concave transformation of the (first-order) expected utility of profit conditional on each plausible subjective distribution of the price risk. Within this framework, we derive necessary and sufficient conditions under which the ambiguity-averse firm optimally produces less in response either to the introduction of ambiguity or to greater ambiguity aversion when ambiguity prevails. In the case that the price risk is binary, we show that ambiguity and greater ambiguity aversion always adversely affect the firm's production decision.

Date: 2015
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