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Optimal self-protection in two periods: On the role of endogenous saving

Richard Peter

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2017, vol. 137, issue C, 19-36

Abstract: Self-protection is a costly investment to reduce the probability of loss. This paper studies optimal self-protection in a two-period model with endogenous saving. In a setting with a binary loss we show that prudence is negatively associated with the optimal level of self-protection, consistent with results obtained in single-period models. We provide intuition for this finding with the help of a recent approach based on stochastic dominance. Furthermore, we determine the effect of interest rate risk on optimal self-protection and study a model in which a decision-maker engages in advance effort to increase the probability of facing a better risky situation. All our results suggest that the understanding of advance self-protection crucially hinges on whether the decision-maker also uses saving to optimize intertemporal consumption utility. If so, the fact that self-protection expenditures are upfront turns out to be irrelevant.

Keywords: Downside risk; Prudence; Risk; Risk aversion; Saving; Self-protection (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D61 D81 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.01.017

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